7. Why is Westley significant to Hughes’ narrative? Like Hughes, Westley does not
feel compelled to be saved. However, Westley decides to lie about his salvation.
Westley’s lying gives Hughes his solution. Westley also affirms Hughes’ reality: they
both have not had an encounter with Jesus.
8. How does Hughes seek to resolve his internal conflict? Hughes decides to lie too.
Because these two young boys have to lie, readers understand the weight that is placed
on this decision. Readers understand the pressure these young boys are under. Even
further, readers may begin to question the church’s understanding of salvation.
9. What does Hughes’ crying reveal? Hughes’ crying reveals that his internal conflict is
not over. He feels guilty for lying, deceiving his church, and ultimately not witnessing
10. What is Hughes’ conclusion, and how does it relate to his topic? Hughes provides his
new stance. He does not believe there is a Jesus. Hughes was given an expectation of
what it means to be saved, so when he did not experience this, he began to doubt himself
and eventually his belief in God. Based on everybody else’s description of salvation in
his community, Hughes felt Jesus had let him down in his absence.
11. What is the significance of Hughes’ conclusion as it pertains to his audience? How
does this central argument speak to a reality shared with his audience? Hughes was
denied the opportunity to experience Jesus for himself because of the preexisting and
limited expectation of that experience from his community. Hughes’ conflict and ultimate
conclusion reveal the inclination most of us have to reject something we cannot conform
Personal Narrative Essays, Spring 2015.
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