In addition to the literary devices already pinpointed, Achebe also uses the following:
Imagery: Imagery is description using any of the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Achebe often uses vivid visual imagery that paints a picture, such as in the quote below, in which he describes the ragged appearance of a soldier:
his disreputable rags ... the toes peeping out of one blue and one brown canvas shoes ... the two stars of his rank done obviously in a hurry in biro.
Indirect characterization: In indirect characterization, the narrator does not tell us what a character is like. Instead, we are shown this through his dialogue and behavior. Indirect characterization in this story shows that Jonathan is both resourceful and upbeat as a person. For example, when the ragged solider arrives and wants his bike, Jonathan thinks quickly, and is able to reclaim the bicycle. We learn that he:
produced the two pounds with which he had been going to buy firewood which his wife, Maria, retailed to camp officials for extra stock-fish and corn meal, and got his bicycle back.
He is then resourceful in burying the bike to hide it.
Jonathan is upbeat throughout in what he says. For example, when his neighbors commiserate with him over the lost twenty pounds, he states: "'I count it as nothing." Instead, he reiterates his faith that nothing puzzles God.
Polysyndeton: In this literary device, an author strings together a series that normally would be separated with commas by using "ands." An example is below:
He rubbed his eyes and looked again and it was still standing there before him.
His small zinc house is still standing while the giant concrete house nearby built by a rich man is rubble. The series of "ands" slows the reader down and focuses his attention on the wonder of that particular moment.
Finally, Achebe uses a simile when he describes the fear constricting Jonathan when the gang of thieves bangs on his door, saying that "his throat felt like sandpaper."