Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Jeremiah as a Christ Figure in Peace Like a River

Category Christianity, Peace
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Jeremiah as a Christ Figure in Peace like a River In the novel Peace like a River, Leif Enger creates the character Jeremiah Land as a Christ figure in order to convey the character’s role as a person whose life is spent serving others. Throughout the novel, there are many miracles performed, and some seem to obviously connect with Jeremiah. The intent of making Jeremiah a Christ figure comes to fulfillment by the novel’s end, when Jeremiah sacrifices his life to save his son, Reuben.

In the creation of Jeremiah as a Christ figure, Enger reminds the reader of the importance of self-abnegation and apprehension for others, attitudes that make the pains of human experience tolerable. As stated, there are many miracles in the novel. In the beginning of the novel, Reuben sneaks outside to use the bathroom, when he sees his dad, praying in the bed if the truck and he walks straight off and continues walking without falling. At Christmas time, Davy gives Swede a saddle, but it has an unfixable break in the seam, which is miraculously fixed after Jeremiah tripping over it and bringing it up to her room.

One night, after Davy had broken out of jail, Tin Lurvy stops by the Land house and is served soup, but after at least eleven bowls total were served, the pot in which it was made was more than half full. Some miracles are very obviously connected to Jeremiah, like his walking off the truck, but there are others that are not so obvious. In the New Testament, Jesus feeds five thousand people with five loaves of bread and three fish, which connects to the somehow refilling pot of soup that Tin Lurvy kept eating.

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Supposedly, Jeremiah would boil water with some vinegar and that would help Reuben breathe better, but I believe it was Jeremiah himself when he made it for him. There is a point in the novel where the miracles seem to cease. It is the arrival at Roxanna’s house. They were running on the extremely small amount of gas that apparently lasted for the entire morning until the found Roxanna and the gas company. After a while, Jeremiah had decided to court Roxanna, and the miracles stopped after that, for he spent most of his time in the Airstream inherited from Tin Lurvy after his heart attack.

Reuben still had trouble breathing, but when Swede made the boiled water for him, it didn’t work well. After identifying many facts that support the claim, it is certain that Enger created Jeremiah Land as a Christ figure. But, miracles sometimes being called “acts of God”, most are not. There are many ordinary miracles happening all over. A woman that works two jobs an still finds time to take her kid to soccer practice; a teenager who says no to drugs and yas to an education; these are miracles you see each day, all the time, everywhere.

Jeremiah as a Christ Figure in Peace Like a River essay

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