'Civil Peace' by Chinua Achebe Essay

1425 Words Aug 1st, 2006 4 Pages
"Civil Peace" is a short story which was written in the 20th century by Chinua Achebe. Nigeria was torn apart by a civil war, and currently in Nigeria the country is united after the bloody war. The author tries to encourage his native Nigerian people with a short story that is filled with optimism. Chinua Achebe 's short story can be analyzed in regard to the three important literary elements which are characterization, tone, and conflict.

Achebe 's goal as a writer was to depict his people. He learned about his own people, who were once a part of the Igbo civilization by "interviewing older people and reading the writings of colonial administration missionaries" ("Short Stories for Students Volume" pg. 17). Once the civil war began, he
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As a bonus he also had his old bicycle - a miracle too but naturally not to be compared to the safety of five hum heads" ("Civil Peace" pg. 29).

That shows how thankful he is for his family, even though he lost one child, he did not give up, yet went to work form the first day back, trying to make a living, with his bicycle, now turned into a tax, "He put it into immediate use as a taxi" ("Civil Peace" pg. 29). Now, we approach the antagonist of the short story, the leader of the thieves. He and his people are taking advantage of the weak structure of the government currently in Nigeria. They are not afraid of the neighbors and police as evident by this, "Police-o! Thieves-o! Neighbors-o! Police-o! ... Neighbors are you asleep?" ("Civil Peace" pg. 32). They all were awake, but they were scared of the thieves. The masterful use of characterization was scattered brilliantly throughout the short story.

"Civil Peace" can also be analyzed for the author 's use of tone. Tone is the attitude implied by the author. Through the short story there is optimism. As I stated in the above paragraph, he had lost one of his children, but he was not going to be held back, "... heads of three out of their four children" ("Civil Peace" pg. 32). The biggest surprise for the Iwegbu family must have been them discovering that their house was still there, "This newest miracle was his little house in Ogui Overside" (Civil Peace" pg 34). Next to their little house, there used to stand

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