Civil Peace Questions and Answers
by Chinua Achebe

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What are the literary devices used in Chinua Achebe's “Civil Peace”?

Chinua Achebe's short story “Civil Peace” uses literary devices like synecdoche, flashback, repetition, simile, metaphor, dialect, and irony to paint a fascinating portrait of the life of Jonathan and his family after the war.

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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,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 822 words.)

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They have used imagery to form mental images in the reader's head, using languages to expressed some particular person, action or object involved in the action. They also uses metaphors, an implied analogy to the person's mind, making a comparison to other people, and also to twist the meaning of the word. Also, the story is expressed clearly in a third-person point of view, which means that the events are clearly depicted by Jonathan's eyes and thoughts, and he doesn't have any direct participation with the matter at hand.