How would you sum up Jonathan's attitude toward life?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Jonathan Iwegbu's attitude toward life can be summed up with very cheerful and optimistic words. He is spiritually attuned. He is trusting. He is grateful and thankful for small mercies, like the reclamation of his bike, and large mercies, like the survival of his "family's five heads." He recognizes that no matter how wonderful all other blessings are, like the continued existence of his old house, there is nothing greater than the survival of his wife and children. He speaks lovingly and reverently of the family's "five heads" even though he and his wife had lost their youngest son.

He had come out of the war with five inestimable blessings—his head, his wife Maria's head and the heads of three out of four children.

A person's attitude is their way of thinking about life and living that is reflected in their behavior. Part of Jonathan's behavior, a part that is critical to understanding him and his attitude, is that he feels that he may be puzzled—and indeed overwhelmed with fear as on the night of "Na-tief-man and him people"—but he is convinced that "Nothing puzzles God." He makes this statement four times with variations. The lines are like a poetic refrain to a poem of Jonathan's life:

Nothing puzzles God.
Indeed nothing puzzles God!
But nothing puzzles God.
Nothing puzzles God.

He puts small things, blessings or terrors, in perspective against large. His attitude reflects his belief in a God who is greater and wiser than he himself. He knows when to let go and see the loss with a wise perspective.

I say, let egg-rasher perish in the flames! Let it go where everything else has gone. Nothing puzzles God.

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Llewellyn Kassulke eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Jonathan is not only an optimist but also a courageous entrepreneur: even in the midst of uncertainty, he looks for opportunities at every step of the way to ensure the continued survival of his family. He is stubbornly enterprising in the midst of hopelessness and refuses to give in to despair.

With the one hundred...

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troutmiller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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