New Posts


Civil Peace (Story) Exercises

 Civil Peace


Understanding the text

Answer these questions.

a. Why did Jonathan think of himself as 'extraordinarily lucky'?

Answer: Jonathan thought of himself as 'extraordinarily lucky' because he was successful to survive with his wife and children though there was the devastation of civil war.

b. What are the ‘five blessings’ for which Jonathan is grateful?

Answer: The ‘five blessings’ for which Jonathan is grateful are his head, his wife Maria's head and the heads of three out of his four children. He is happy to be safe after the devastation of the war.

c. Why did Jonathan mistrust the officer who wanted to take his bicycle? What does this tell you about the situation in Nigeria?

Answer: Jonathan mistrusted the officer who wanted to take his bicycle because of his certain lack of grip and firmness in his manner. He saved his bicycle giving two pounds to the officer who easily accepted a bribe in exchanging the bicycle. It reveals that there was corruption and dishonesty in the Nigerian society.

d. What visitors might be at the door? Are Jonathan and his wife completely surprised? Explain

Answer: There hear a knock at the door. The people who knock at the door might be the thieves because they don’t reply when they call them. He and his family shouts for help but nobody arrives there. They have come to rob the money from them. The leader demands 100 pounds. Jonathan says that he doesn't have that much money. All he has is 20 pounds that he receives at the treasury. The leader decides to accept the amount. Jonathan gives it to him, and thieves go away. They are completely surprised because they have never been woken up at night in such a way before.

e. Why does no one in the neighbourhood respond when the thieves pound on Jonathan’s door? Why do the thieves call for the police?

Answer: No one in the neighbourhood responds when the thieves pound on Jonathan’s door because all of them are frightened due to the activities of the thieves. They call for the police because they want to tease them. The thieves also know that nobody comes there to help Jonathan and his family.


Reference to the context

a. What does Jonathan mean by his expression “Nothing puzzles God”? What does this expression reveal about his character? Explain by citing details from the story.

Answer: Jonathan’s expression ‘Nothing puzzles God’ indicates his deep religious trust in God. There is a miracle happening to him. Jonathan repeatedly utters the expression for positive outcomes - like the survival of his home and family - as blessings or miracles. He is very hopeful and optimistic. He feels pleasure in everything. He doesn’t think and lament about past wrong activities. He is keen to accept that he cannot control omen or fate. He easily manages the bad effects of war to his family. He accepts both good and bad events as the will of God.


b. How does Jonathan change as he experiences the conflicts in his life? Explain.

Answer: Jonathan changes according to his positive and optimistic feelings as he experiences the conflicts in his life. He is very hopeful and optimistic. He feels pleasure in everything. He doesn’t think and lament about past wrong activities. He is keen to accept that he cannot control omen or fate. He continues to do the best for the betterment of his family. He is very faithful to God. He believes all the results as the willingness of God. His optimism remains bold and determined throughout the story.


c. Read the extract and answer the questions below.

“To God who made me; if you come inside and find one hundred pounds, take it and shoot me and shoot my wife and children. I swear to God. The only money I have in this life is this twenty pounds egg-rasher they gave me today….”

i. Who is the speaker?

ii. Who is the speaker talking to?

iii. Who does “they” refer to?


i. The speaker is Jonathan Iwegbu.

ii. The speaker is talking to the leader of the thieves.

iii. "They" refers to the government officials of the treasury.


d. Nigerian English has words like soja 'soldier' and katakata 'confusion', 'trouble' derived apparently from English words but transformed by native languages' phonologies. What does the author’s use of dialect here add to the story?

Answer: I think the author has used both standard and local varieties of languages to make the story real and natural. He uses these languages to differentiate the central character from the thieves outside his door. The use of dialect makes the story realistic having authentic Nigerian characters. He has used Nigerian English dialect to show the bicultural tradition of his place.


e. Why do you think the thieves who come to rob Jonathan speak English with a heavier African accent than Jonathan does?

Answer: I think the thieves who come to rob Jonathan speak English with a heavier African accent than Jonathan does because they want to be authentic Nigerian and they want to control Jonathan, his family and their neighbours while robbing. They seem more local African than Jonathan The thieves also want that other people don’t believe on the words of Jonathan and his family so that the police and other villagers won’t come there to help them.


f. The title of the story "Civil Peace" itself is ironical ............ ‘civil peace’ from ‘civil war’. Do you think that the title of this story is appropriate, or would “Civil War” have been a better title? Explain.

Answer: In my opinion the title of the story is appropriate. The story writer has used the title in an ironical sense to highlight the violence which is still present in a post-war situation in Nigeria. Though the war has come to an end, there is still chaotic situation which is filled with disagreement. The war leaves a tremendous amount of destruction. The main character of the story, Jonathan has positive and optimistic feeling. He sees peace and harmony. He is devoted to manage wellbeing of the family so the title is good one because of the behaviour of the main character.

For summary CLICK HERE.

For 'all content' CLICK HERE.


(Thank you for your visit to my website. I am eagerly waiting for your constructive suggestion.)

Post a Comment