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Father Son Relationship In Jeremiah Land

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One of the first words children learn to say is “daddy.” This is one of the earliest signs that fathers play extremely large and important roles in their children’s lives. Part of the father’s role that can make or break the relationship with his child is the expression of fatherly love. Reuben Land of Peace like a River receives a constant stream of affection from his dad Jeremiah. In fact, the righteous Jeremiah Land is a near-perfect example of pure, fatherly love and even more so an example of God’s love for His children. Jeremiah isn’t just a tender father to Reuben; he treats his other children Swede and Davy with the same passion he shows Reuben. No matter the trouble the children get into nor the mistakes they make, Jeremiah is always…show more content…
Reuben continually has breathing problems. Jeremiah doesn’t care how many times he must stop what he’s doing and help Reuben; he is always patient, kind, and sympathetic. Swede frequently expresses the innocent selfishness that most eight-year-olds have; Jeremiah never becomes impatient or gruff but instead teaches her corrective behavior from his own example. Davy takes the lives of two young boys then runs from the police. Jeremiah never stops showing Davy his absolute support of Davy as a son nor his irrevocable and forgiving love as his father. In a study of father-son relationships, Ginsberg claims “The meaning of father in a man’s life profoundly effects how he views himself as a person…” (109). With the image of Jeremiah Land as their father, the Land kids have no choice but to view their selves as loved individuals of worth. Jeremiah’s constant, unconditional love shown equally to each child is second only to God’s love for His…show more content…
In an exert from Man Enough, author Frank Pittman declares “The children of this generation may grow up with the idea that a father’s life is his work…” This view of a father is exactly the opposite of how the Land children view their dad. The sacrifices Jeremiah make for his children are the evidence that they are his life. Enger writes both major and minor examples of Jeremiah’s sacrifices into Peace like a River. Throughout the story, Jeremiah’s sacrifices grow larger and larger. As the family packs up their Airstream trailer in preparation for their trip, Swede smartly attempts to persuade her father to let her bring three bulky but beloved possessions of hers. Though these items will take up the room of more useful packages, Jeremiah allows Swede’s treasures on board. This can be for no reason except that Jeremiah’s love for his daughter and her happiness surpasses his need for spare room in the trailer. This is a minor sacrifice, but it paves the way for larger sacrifices to be made further on. The final sacrifice Jeremiah makes for his children comes at the end of the story and, coincidently, the end of his life. Reuben’s lungs have never been healthy. Midway through the story, Jeremiah takes ill and experiences the same inability to break as his youngest son. Later, when Reuben has a bad episode of his dysfunctional lungs, Jeremiah sympathetically assures him “I would take your
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