Civil Peace Essay

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“He had come out of the war with five inestimable blessings- his head, his wife’s Maria’s head and the head of three of their four children”(358). In Chinua Achebe’s short story “Civil Peace”, Jonathan has to overcome many obstacles inorder to keep his family and self alive. To make things worse the war has just taken place leaving them with very little to survive . Although there is many obstacles in life, a person can accomplish them if determined and motivated to do so, despite the situation one is in. The challenge may be harder but if one sets the mind to it, nothing is impossible. Achebe proves this point by giving examples through the use of symbolism and repetition. Throughout the story, Achebe utilizes symbolism to show the meaning and rational of what Jonathan and his family had to prevail. For example his bike is a symbolism of his family. When he found his bike alive he was so grateful and “counted himself the luckiest man”(p. 358). The bike symbolized union, hardship and survival; the bike had made it through the war just like his family had. This shows how the bike symbolically resembled his family. Achebe also uses the bike as a focal point to illustrate the importance of survival by making the bike only source of transportation for Jonathan. Jonathan’s only way of getting anywhere is his bike, without his bike it would be hard for his family and self to make a living. So “he put it to immediate use as a taxi”(358). Knowing that many other people didn’t have a way of getting around to nearby or local places Jonathan decides to make the best of the situation and uses his bike as a taxi hoping to make money. Another literary device that Achebe uses is repetition. Jonathan frequently says “Nothing puzzles God” by this he means that God knows everything and nothing can confuse him in his decisions. Jonathan feels like God has given him

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