What does Jonathan get in exchange for the rebel money he had saved?

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In Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe, Jonathan Iwegbu receives twenty pounds from the Treasury in exchange for all the rebel money that he had aquired and saved. At first, Jonathan is extremely happy with this apparent windfall. He considers himself very fortunate to have come through the violence of the recent war with his family surviving, his home intact, and even his hidden bicycle in one piece. He views this money as just an extra sign of his good fortune.

However, Jonathan does not have much time to enjoy his twenty pounds. The very night that he receives it, thieves show up at his home and demand that he pay them one hundred pounds. They say that they need this money to create a "civil peace." Not having nearly that much money, Jonathan hands over the twenty pounds he had just acquired.

Despite this quick turn in fortune, Jonathan has a surprisingly positive outlook about the whole incident. Jonathan rationalizes that he is no worse off than he was before he received this money. He and his family have survived much worse in recent times, and the loss of this money will not set him back any further than he already was. Jonathan remains confident that things will improve with or without the twenty pounds.

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