The character of Jeremiah reflects how choices influence a person’s future. In the novel, Jeremiah Land was swept up by a tornado, but miraculously he survived. He thought that surviving was a signal from God, and as a result, he felt that he needed to follow God’s will (Enger, pg. 52). However, Jeremiah needed to decide whether to continue his career in the medicine field, or to sacrifice what he had achieved in his career to devote the following years of his life to God. His faith in God was so strong, that he chose to give up his career. This is acknowledged by his son Reuben, when he states, “Dad surrender his studies and a prosperous future” (Enger p. 56). According to his son, if Jeremiah had continued with his career, he would have been economically successful. His decision to give up his career led to the dissolution of his marriage. Enger shows the reader that all decisions come with a sacrifice, and that it is ultimately up to the person to make his...
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... because the choices made by Reuben were the correct ones. Also the image of people flowing is a description of heaven where the joyous souls flow like streams of a river. Enger states that if wise choices are made, the individual will be in peace with himself.
Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger, carries its theme that people must accept the consequences of their actions throughout the whole story. This theme is developed through the character of Jeremiah, the conflict between Davy and the law, and the symbolism in the title of the novel. By giving this message, the author is able to show that it is important to take responsibility for the choices made because they will define the individual’s future and if wise decisions are made, then a peaceful life will ensue.
Enger, Leif. Peace Like a River. New York: Grove Press, 2001. Print.
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