Essay Sample on Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
In Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, Jeremiah calls the family’s conflict a “war” to help his children better understand they will have losses on the way, but there definitely will be times of victory. The Land family went on a trip to hunt when Reuben finds out slight details of what Finch and Bascua did to Dolly. Reuben says, “The water had cooled under the steam tent. ‘Well,’ [Reuben] mused, ‘what should we do back?’. It was our turn, after all, and though I couldn’t picture Dad carrying the battle back to Finch and Basca over a wrecked door, the very word- escalation - sounded like something bound to carry up and forward, regardless of your wishes or ordinary sense” (25). Here, Reuben and Swede consider how they should fight back. They think Jeremiah isn’t a good fit to battle back. When Jeremiah used the word escalation, Reuben immediately thought of a war. He thought of it as something that will be fast paced that may not be what you would like or wish. He feels that Jeremiah will not be the one who is most prepared for the escalation that will soon happen. This establishes the beginning of the war and the battle against Finch and Bascua. A little while after Davy kills Finch and Basca, he escapes from jail. The Land family gets a letter from August saying he has seen Davy and they slowly start to prepare for the journey ahead. Jeremiah states, “And Dad, eyebrows raised in delight with his forthcoming answer said, ‘I have the substance of things hoped for. I have the anticipation of things unseen’” (130). Jeremiah is excited to hear about Davy and has a strong hope for the things to come. Swede and Reuben are extremely delighted to see that Jeremiah expresses his emotion in a joyful way. By Jeremiah expressing his emotion in a good way, they are able to consider this the better part of war because they won a battle. The Land family finally gained a lead, so they changed their life completely to go on a trip to find Davy based on faith alone. Later, the Land family goes on a trip to find Davy. They stop for gas and get surrounded by state troopers and Andreeson. Reuben states, “At once I took a fierce chill. A sob rippled up my throat and I couldn’t do a thing about it. It sure is one thing to say you’re at war with this world and stick your chest out believing it, but when the world shows up with its crushing numbers and its predatory knowledge, it is another thing completely.” (166). Reuben looks around him and notices he is in complete shock. He then goes on saying that people can say they are at war with the world when they are really not or they can be the total opposite. The phrases “fierce chill” and “sob rippled up my throat” describes that Reuben is one of the people who is truly at war with the world. It wasn’t until that sudden moment that he realized he is the one that has many challenges in life that he could do nothing about. He is the prey and people in the world were his predator. In conclusion, Jeremiah uses the word “war” to help his children understand that there will be many ups and downs in life, but they may not be when you please.