Peace Like A River Essay

935 words - 4 pages

"Reuben Land, in the name of the living God I am telling you to breathe," (Enger 3). From the astounding words of Leif Enger's novel, Peace Like A River, he takes readers on a journey of an asthmatic life of eleven-year old, Reuben Land. This ailment influences his character to become troubled from the effects of asthma, dependent on others’ aid, and hopeful that a miracle will better a burdensome situation.

In this heart-felt novel, Reuben’s asthma greatly influences his character because he becomes troubled from the arduous effects of his ailment. A quote to show the troubles his asthma puts him through is when Reuben awakes to no breath. One alarming morning, he jumps ...view middle of the document...

Jeremiah, Roxanna, and Swede are there to aid him, since Reuben is incapable of helping himself. One quote to describe his dependency on others is when Roxanna and Jeremiah physically rush to fill his lungs with air. Reuben recalls, “On a waking I saw Dad kneeling beside, holding my upper arms; I heard Swede crying distantly; someone I couldn't see was thumping my back. I’d never felt such thumps…" (184). Reuben’s level of asthma is severe. Without the care and assistance of others, he would not survive. Even though Reuben has faced many incidents similar to this, the fear of their beloved Reuben dying, would never go away. For this reason, Swede still began to sob, knowing her beloved brother’s life had always hung on the end of a line. Furthermore, Roxanna accepts the position of assisting Reuben as well. She boils vinegar and water, to loosen up his lungs in the quote,” Yes I was still wheezy.Yes i thought steam might help. Roxanna asked if she should go heat some water and Dad said to put some baking soda in it and a little white vinegar if she had it," (184). This explains how Roxanna becomes conducive to Reuben. He had needed the aid of Roxanna to breathe smoother. In a way, Reuben would become humble, due to his ailment. He knows himself, his abilities are limited, and weighs largely on the support of other’s help.

During the times of Reuben’s asthma troubles, the only thing left to do is hope a miracle will cure him, or better a toilsome time. This specifically holds true to this novel because of the sorrows he must face, praying he is able to live a normal life. Reuben has witnessed the miracles of his father, Jeremiah....

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