Civil Peace

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Civil Peace
Chinua Achebe

The short story “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe is about a man named Jonathan Iwegbu, his wife Maria and his three surviving children. Chinua Achebe’s emphasis in his short story is how Jonathan and his family are trying to get on with their lives after the Civil War in Nigeria. Moreover, there is a phrase that Jonathan says several times through his story, “nothing puzzles God”. What does Jonathan means when he says this?

The story starts off with Jonathan realizing how lucky he is to have survived the war along with his wife and three of his four children, one of his sons did not survive. He also mentions that his old bicycle which he had buried in the ground a year earlier just needed a little greasing and was able to be used again. This is also where Jonathan first uses the phrase “Nothing puzzles God”, (page 29). I think that in this part of the story Jonathan means that although his bicycle had been buried in the ground for a year all that it needed to work again was a little oil. Most people may have thought that the bicycle would have been no good or puzzled by the fact that it worked, but God knew that it would be okay, so Jonathan places his faith in God, “Nothing puzzles God”.

Jonathan immediately put his bicycle to use as a taxi to earn money. He then mentions that he makes the journey to Enugu and when he arrives he finds another miracle. His little house is still standing, “he discovers that miraculously his own modest home is intact”, Dameron Charles, “Chinua Achebe”, A Reader's Companion to the Short Story in English, paragraph 15. He again uses the phrase “nothing puzzles God”. Jonathan talks about the fact that just two houses away a huge concrete structure is no longer there, but his tiny little house has survived. As this point, I think Jonathan means that despite the war and hardship a small house withstood the effects of the war and Jonathan and his family had a place to return to. Jonathan...
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