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Commentary on Civil Peace Essay


In the story Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe, we enjoy a detailed journey about Jonathan Iwegbu and his life surrounding the Nigerian civil war. In life you can tell a lot about a person by their actions in different situations. Reading how Jonathan handled himself in various situations that occurred in the story you were able to get a good feel for his personality and his characteristics. Some of the more notable ones were his resourcefulness, poise, determination, faith, and his positivity.

Jonathan showed his resourcefulness with his bike. During the war he was able to keep it by burying the bike in a small graveyard near camp. After the surrender he dug it up and used it to start a taxi business. He would give rides to the officers and their families across camp. In 14 days Jonathan was able to save up 115 pounds that he put to good use by just using his bike.

Poise is very different than most of the other attributes that Jonathan has but he showed it when the thieves came to his home. He stayed calm and showed great poise by talking with the head thief and reasoning with him. The situation could have turned out very bad but with great poise Jonathan was able to keep his family out of harms way for the reasonable cost of 20 pounds.

Determination was shown by when Jonathan opened a palm-wine bar. He was fixed on giving his family a better life so he had his children pick mangos and his wife make akara balls. With the profits Jonathan would use his trusty old bike to go to nearby villages to buy palm-wine. Even when he had lost all the money he had the next morning he was back on his bike to fetch more palm-wine for his bar.

Jonathans faith and positivity go side by side with each other. He had enormous faith that god was watching over him which allowed him to stay positive in even the worst situations. When the war was over he had lost a son but he stayed positive and faithful because it was a miracle that his wife, three children, and himself were still alive. Again he came upon another miracle which solidified his faith when he returned to his house to find it still standing even though the fancy house was destroyed two lots away. When he was robbed by a band of thieves he stayed positive and faithful. All the neighbors gathered to show sympathy but Jonathan and his family was back on their normal schedule. The neighbors were curious why he was not extremely upset and he said What is egg-rasher? Did I depend on it last week? Or is it greater than the things lost in the war?

In the story Civil Peace you get a good feel for the ups and downs of the life style surrounding the Nigerian civil war. Jonathans characteristics really came into play in different situations that came up in the story while he was just trying to give his family a better life. When he lost one son during the war he kept his faith and positivity calling it at miracle that his wife, 3 children, and himself came out alive saying that nothing puzzles god. He showed extraordinary determination to give his family a better life by keeping a palm-wine bar open even when he was left with nothing. Jonathan gave examples of his great poise when he reasoned with the band of thieves to prevent an awful occurrence which resulted in only a minor mishap. Lastly he showed resourcefulness through his bike. When he was left with only his bike and family at the end of the war he managed to use the bike in a taxi operation.

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