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Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe

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on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe

"Civil Peace" by Chinua Achebe

Plot Analysis
Reviews/Recommendations
Questions?
Point of View, Setting, Mood, Tone
Character Analysis
Two significant characters in this story are Jonathan Iwegbu and the thief.
Theme Analysis
Literary Elements
There are many literary elements in this story, including diction, flash forward, irony, tone, and symbolism.
Exposition
You are introduced to Jonathan Iwegbu and he describes his life after a civil war that took place. He talks about how lucky he is to have his family still with him after the war.
Conflict
Jonathan finds his bike and he is surprised that it has lasted so long during and after the war.
Rising Action
Jonathan and his family continue their normal lives and try to get by under tough times after the war. One day Jonathan receives twenty pounds and keeps it in his pocket.
Point of View
The point of view for is in 1st person,told by Jonathan Iwegbu. Jonathan is the main character of the story and describes his life after a long war in West Africa.
Setting
The short story takes place in the colony of Nigeria in West Africa after a civil war. The living conditions for Jonathan and his family are horrible and they are just getting by.
Mood
The mood of the story can be depressing at parts when Jonathan is describing his life and his family, but it does become lighter with Jonathan's optimism about everything.
Jonathan Iwegbu
Status: Protagonist and main character
Traits/Motivations: He is a hard worker and an optimist. He values his family and does everything he can to help them.
Indirect characterization: Reader comes to know him through his thoughts and conversations.
Round: He has many different traits, beliefs, and morals.
Static: His views do not change (he stays optimistic throughout the story).
Quotes: Often says "Happy survival!" which shows how thankful he is for everything he has.
The Thief
Status: Antagonist and significant character
Traits/Motivations: He is fearless and needs money to survive after the war.
Indirect characterization: Reader gets to know his personality through his conversations.
Round: He has many different traits and morals.
Static: His views do not change throughout the story.
Stock: He is what you assume every thief to be; sneaky and demanding
Kelly: I'd recommend this story to people who like to learn about past events such as civil wars and the lives affected by it.

Hannah: I would recommend this short story to people who are interested in learning about different people in different places.

Emma: I recommend this short story to all who enjoy learning about the culture and events the civil war of Africa had on it people.

Kelly: Overall this short story was very interesting. I had felt like I had really connected with the main character.

Hannah: This was an interesting story with realistic characters and conflicts.

Emma: This short story did confuse me at some points, perhaps the dialogue was the reason for that. However, overall this is a good story to be told that has great themes behind it.



Theme 1
The first theme of this short story is to be grateful for what you have. This theme is presented in this story by Jonathan because he is grateful for surviving the civil war with his head along with his family's heads. He also shows his gratefulness by the money he earns by working hard. Jonathan appreciates what is his and is thankful for it everyday.
Theme #2
The second theme of this story is that nothing puzzles God. This theme means that anything can happen at anytime. Nothing is a surprise to God. This is shown in the story when the thieves come to Jonathan's home in the middle of the night demanding money and threatening to kill him and his family if they don't get by.
Diction
The writer uses a variety of diction in this story which helps the reader understand the setting and characters. The dialect that the characters speak is a mixture of English and their native language, and shows that the setting is not anywhere near here.
Flash Forward
In the story, the narrator told how the thieves wanted Jonathan to open the door, and that he was walking over there with his only money. Then, the story flashes forward to reveal Jonathan hard at work the next morning, telling people that "he counts it as nothing," meaning the loss of money is not important if he still has his family. The narrator uses this element of flash forward to leave what happens up to the reader, and to create a hint of mystery.
Irony
The title of this story is "Civil Peace," but there is very little peace after the war. People turn to crime to survive, and the country is left in extreme poverty. It is ironic because the title of this story contradicts the actuality of the story.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Presentation by
Kelly Paldino

Emma Thomas

Hannah French
Tone
The tone is very serious when talking about the war and when Jonathan was getting robbed, but it changes to a cheerier tone after he was robbed and began his normal life again.
Symbols
There are many symbols in this story, with two main ones being Jonathan's old bicycle and the "egg rasher." Jonathan's old bicycle represented hope and new beginnings. He found it at the site where his son was buried, and he saw it as a miracle. The "egg rasher," a reward for turning in rebel money to the government, symbolizes the desperation and conflicts that the country faced after the civil war.
Tone
The tone of this story is always optimistic and hopeful. It reflects Jonathan's thoughts, feelings, and his hope and determination to keep prospering.
Climax
One night while Jonathan and his family are sleeping, thieves come to their house demanding for money and trying to break in.
Falling Action
Jonathan says that they have little money, only the twenty pounds he had received that day and told the thieves to go in his house and search for it.
Resolution
The story skips forward and you are a couple of days after that night when Jonathan and his family are robbed. They continue their normal life and just try to move on.
Full transcript