Thorough analysis and response essay on "Civil Peace" by Chinua Achebe.

Essay by NotchBmXCollege, Undergraduate December 2003

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Civil Peace. One rarely hears those two words together. It is usually either Civil War, or perhaps Civil Chaos, but rarely is it Civil Peace. This is because it is not the times of peace that are remembered, but the times of war. It is during these times that people truly shine as the need arises or are exposed for their truer, more evil selves. Like Jamie Sullivan said in A Walk to Remember, "There would be no compassion without suffering." Chinua Achebe's Civil Peace is a story about going through hardships and never forgetting what is most important.

Civil Peace is set in the early 1970's in the country of Nigeria. There had been a civil war in the late 1960's that had had a devastating effect on the country. When the civil war had begun, the country's armed forces were totally unprepared and untrained, so for the first couple years of the war, the country was in turmoil.

It wasn't until the government was able to reconcile their forces and produce a considerable army that the unrest was brought to a halt. Civil Peace takes place right after the war, when the citizens of Nigeria begin their attempt to rebuild their country.

Jonathan Iwegbu, the main character in this story, is one of those citizens. He acknowledges that the war is over and begins to do his part in reconstruction. He is a religious man and is quite thankful for what he has, and as little as that may be, he still considers himself lucky. He is the head of his family which includes his wife, Maria, and his three children, all of which support him in what he does. The other major character in this story is the leader of the thieves' gang that calls...