Civil Peace Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

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In "Civil Peace," how do Jonathan's neighbors respond when he calls for help?

When Jonathan and his family call for help while they are being robbed in "Civil Peace," the neighbors respond by ignoring them. The family must endure the crime alone. The neighbors come around the next morning to commiserate over the family's loss.

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In the short story "Civil Peace" by Chinua Achebe, Jonathan Iwegbu, his wife, and three out of his four children survive the Nigerian Civil War, and he is extremely grateful. Throughout the story, Jonathan is a relentless optimist, but we can understand how devastating the war must have been when he is so thankful that he has lost only one of his family members.

After they emerge from hiding, Jonathan and his family quickly go about rebuilding their lives. Jonathan accumulates some money by using the bicycle he had buried as a taxi. He rebuilds his family's old home, which is still mostly intact. He opens a bar in his home, mixing palm wine and water to conserve resources, while his wife bakes and sells breakfast balls and his children pick and sell mangoes.

Jonathan's biggest windfall, though, comes when he receives twenty pounds cash from the government for the rebel money that he has turned in. He carries it home with extreme care. Unfortunately, that night a gang of thieves pound on...

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