Civil Peace

what is the main idea

they were tired of being thrown around

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In "Civil Peace", government authority cannot be relied upon, neither during the war nor the post-war period. As a result, individuals and families must look out for themselves.

The first reference to authority occurs when Jonathan recalls the disheveled military officer who threatened to commandeer his bicycle and then accepted a bribe. Later, after the declaration of peace, the government-owned Coal Corporation remains closed. His subsequent visit to the Treasury is marked by inefficiency: “endless scuffles in queues and counter queues”. Finally, the police and night watchmen fail to help the family during the robbery, and the idea of seeking help from a soldier is presented as laughable. The Short Stories for Students guide suggests that the thieves, who are well-armed and function as a group, could be former soldiers (13). In the story authority is at best inefficient and untrustworthy, and at worst a source of real fear and danger.