Civil Peace Characters
by Chinua Achebe

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Character Analysis

(Short Stories for Students)

Jonathan Iwegbu
Jonathan Iwegbu has survived the Nigerian civil war, along with his wife and three of his four children, and now he faces the uncertain future with optimism. He gives thanks for what he does have rather than regret what he has lost. He counts all the blessings he has been given, chief among them his family, and after that, his scant material possessions, his bicycle and his home. He uses these possessions to immediately begin rebuilding his life; the bicycle becomes a taxi, and the house becomes a bar. The one thing that Jonathan cannot cast a positive light on is the thieves' assault; however, he still never complains about losing twenty pounds, a significant sum. Instead, the next morning finds Jonathan, and his family, hard at work again, already looking ahead to the future.

Maria Iwegbu
Maria is Jonathan's wife. Like her husband, she works hard to rebuild their family's life after the war.

Leader of the Thieves
The leader of the thieves mocks Jonathan's family's efforts to rouse help. He understands that the neighbors and even the police are too frightened to come to the family's aid. The leader of the thieves, who is well armed, threatens violence against the Iwegbus to get Jonathan to turn over his money.