Civil Peace Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

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Analyse "Civil Peace" based on various theories of literary criticism.

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The easiest way to answer this question would be to appeal to postcolonialism as a way to analyse this excellent short story. Clearly, Chinua Achebe is an author who is famed for being a postcolonial author based on the way that he writes about the realities of African localities both during and after colonial rule. This story, and the way that it presents us with how one family is impacted by the chaos and incredible instability that plagues Nigeria after its independence, comments directly upon colonialism and in particular the anarchic legacy that it left behind in so many different countries, Nigeria being just one of them. The way that the story refers to violence, wars and soldiers is just one indication of the way that the realities of independence were very brutal and violent for people such as Jonathan. Note too the words that the thieves say that give the story its title:

Now make we talk business. We no be bad tief. We no like for make trouble. Trouble done finish. War done finish and all the katakata wey de for inside. No Civil War again. This time na Civil Peace. No be so?

The way that the thieves are able to take Jonathan's money with impunity and Jonathan clearly has no way of ever getting it back points towards the grim realities of independence and the kind of anarchy and chaos that European powers left in their wake.

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