July 21 2015
“Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone” by Andrew Lam and “Salvation” by Langston Hughes are the two nonfiction stories featured in this reaction paper. Although, the time period in which each story was written is not the same, both of these nonfiction stories share a common theme. The subject of that theme is one where an elder teaches a person younger than themselves, the ways of their ancestors through religion or culture. Misunderstandings bought forth by failed communication is another theme that these two stories have in common. Both themes explain that a profound gap exists between the older and newer generation of people, regardless of the time period each one is in. For instance, in the story, “Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone“, the author writes about a Vietnamese teenager who has to learn the ways of his newfound American culture due to the pressure of his current times. While in the story, “Salvation”, the black American was pressured to follow and believe in Christianity in order to display obedience within his community. Both stories talk about personal experiences and although they differ both I can relate to. Langston Hughes Salvation is a story about his youth. His changing from a boy to a young man and the disappointment associated with that change. He describes the days leading up to his visit to the church his Auntie Reed attends where he thinks he is going to actually see Jesus and then describes the events of what actually happens in the church. While Hughes is telling his story he uses several strategies. He describes the setting of the church. It is hot and he is made to sit at the front of the church on the mourners bench with the other young people. What helps the story is how detailed he is when describing the atmosphere of the church and the people. He speaks of the sermon given by the preacher and how those in...