How do Jonathan's neighbors respond when he calls for help?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Jonathan Iwegbu finds himself a survivor of the Nigerian Civil War, along with his wife and three of his four children, he counts himself blessed. To make a new life with his family, Jonathan uses his trusty bicycle to run a taxi service and also starts a bar service for soldiers. His wife makes akara balls to sell as breakfast food, and his children pick mangoes near the military cemetery to sell to soldiers' wives.

When Jonathan receives a windfall of twenty pounds after turning over rebel money, he is ecstatic. However, he makes sure that the money is hidden carefully. Sadly, that night, thieves come to his door. The whole family is terrified and call out to the neighbors for help. However, no help comes. The neighbors are content to leave the family to their own fate. Eventually Jonathan hands over the twenty pounds to the thieves. The next day, he is matter-of-fact and philosophical about what happened.

'I count it as nothing,' he told his sympathizers, his eyes on the rope he was tying. 'What is egg- rasher? Did I depend on it last week? Or is it greater than other things that went with the war? I say, let egg-rasher perish in the flames! Let it go where everything else has gone. Nothing puzzles God.'