Provide a summary of  "Civil Peace" by Chinua Achebe.

Achebe's story "Civil Peace" is about Jonathan Iwegbu, who with most of his family has survived the Nigerian Civil War. Iwegbu is a hard-working entrepreneur who lands on his feet after the war, making the most of what he has and even negotiating his way out of a potentially deadly encounter with robbers.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Achebe's story is about a man who, with most of his family, has survived the civil war in Nigeria. The first part of the story deals with how "lucky" the protagonist, Jonathan Iwegbu, considers himself: not only has he, his wife, and "three out of four" children survived he war, but he has also retained his bicycle, a key possession, and, incredibly, his house, a hut made of mud bricks which remains standing when a much more solidly built building nearby has been reduced to rubble. Iwegbu sees this good fortune as a miracle; as he says when he digs up his bicycle and finds it in good shape, "nothing puzzles God."

Much of the middle of the story has to do with Iwegbu trying to earn money any way he can. He is very enterprising. He uses his bicycle as a kind of taxi, selling rides to officials. He opens a kind of bar where he sells palm wine to soldiers. His wife makes akara balls to sell to the neighbors. He even receives a payment from the government for turning in rebel currency,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 722 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on