Civil Peace

Character overview

Jonathan Iwegbu

Jonathan Iwegbu, the protagonist of "Civil Peace", is the optimistic nucleus of the entire narrative. Despite the recent devastation of the Biafran War, Jonathan exhibits a happy tone in the face of death. Jonathan's optimism is first demonstrated in the first paragraph when he exclaims how happy he is for his life. The quote repeated towards the end of the book reflects the theme is "Nothing puzzles God" [1] and then continues to explain "He had come out of the war with five inestimable blessings --- his head, his wife Maria’s head, and the heads of three out of their four children."[2] The protagonist is happy because he can now enjoy the company of those alive, instead of being sad for the one who died. Jonathan's optimism continues to prevail when he sees his house for the first time which, was slightly damaged "But what was that?"[3] and then continues to explain that he had enough time left in the day to forage for materials “... before thousands more came out of their forest holes looking for the same things.”[4] further emphasizing his optimism and its benefits. Later in the story, Jonathan opens a bar, creating new employment as opposed to dwelling in the fact that his former job, mining coal, is no longer an option. Jonathan's optimism remains unshakable through to the end of the story even when some of his money is stolen by thieves.

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