In the short story Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe the theme that caught my attention after reading it several times, to me anyway, is about life and how nothing else in the world compares to it, not money, not anything. Also how every person no matter who you are has ups and downs. This is a story as old as time itself, and is definitely worth repeating. What leads me to believe this are the opening and closing paragraphs of the story.
When the story begins the author Achebe chooses to start it off with Jonathan Iwegbu counting his blessings. "Happy survival.... He had come out of the war with five inestimable blessings-his head, his wife Maria's head, and the heads of three of their four children. As a bonus he also had his old bicycle". I believe the reader gets a little incite to what the theme is based upon especially after the story is read a couple of times. He is basically saying how material things are not that important, even though he is just getting back from war. He still maintains a positive outlook on his life and he still has his family and his bike. One thing that seemed odd to me when I first read the story was how Achebe makes Jonathan sound when he speaking about his children when he says he still has three out of four. He makes Jonathan come across like he is saying it so nonchalantly. Then after reading the story a couple of times I took it a little differently. Now I think it is not that he had forgotten about his other kid but he is saying like alright I lost one child I have to stay strong and keep going for the other three.
As the story continues Jonathan goes back to Enugu where he apparently owns a small house and all the houses on the block are knocked down except his. This makes him so thankful and he says to himself " Indeed nothing puzzles God!”. In the story right now his life is up and things are going very well but that was soon about to change.
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