Civil Peace - Mrs. Susan Wiggs

“Civil Peace”
by Chinua Achebe
Background, Notes, Author,
Literary Terms
Chinua Achebe
• 1930 –
• Achebe is a Nigerian novelist, poet,
professor, and critic
• He is best known for his book Things
Fall Apart which is the most widely
read book in modern African literature
• During the Civil War in Nigeria,
Chinua Achebe survived the bombing
of his house
• As a child, Achebe learned both the
traditional values of the Ibo people
and the Western values.
• He believes that stories are a way to
preserve important traditional values
Where is Nigeria?
Nigerian-Biafran War
• July 6, 1967 – January 15, 1970
• The war was caused by an attempted succession
of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria – the
self proclaimed Republic of Biafra
• The conflict was a result of economic, ethnic,
cultural, and religious tensions
The Causes
• The British had carved an area in West Africa
and called it Nigeria
• However, they neglected to consider that the
area was made up of different religions,
languages, and hundreds of different ethnic
The different languages spoken in Nigeria.
The Resolution
• With British support, the Nigerian federal forces
launched a final offensive against the Biafrans,
took over their towns, and won
• The estimation is that up to 3 million people
died – most from hunger and disease
• Reconstruction was swift due to the oil money;
however, old ethnic and religious tensions
remained a constant feature of their politics
Other Issues
• People took over abandoned houses from people
who ran to escape the war.
• When they returned, they had no house, no
business, no job – everything had been replaced
• Nigeria also changed their currency so that
Biafran’s supplies of pre-war currency were no
longer honored
Conflict and Motivation
• General conflict – struggle that exists between
characters when beliefs and values change from
one generation to another.
▫ Internal Conflict – a character in conflict with
himself or herself (fear, problem, issue)
▫ External Conflict – the main character
struggles against an outside force (man vs. man,
man vs. animal, man vs. society, man vs.
• Motivation – reason behind the character’s
thoughts, feelings, and actions
• The sequence of events in a literary work
▫ Exposition – Introduces characters, setting, and
basic situation
▫ Rising Action – all events leading up to the climax
▫ Complications – struggle between two opposing
forces (conflict)
▫ Climax – high point of interest or suspense
▫ Falling Action – where all the loose ends are tied
up and all complications are solved
▫ Resolution/Denouement – a general insight
(knowledge) or change is conveyed
Plot Diagram
• The form of language spoken by the people in a
particular region or group
• Pronunciation, vocabulary, and sentence
structure are affected by dialect
• Writers use dialect to make their characters
sound realistic and to create local color
biro (445)
fortnight (445)
inestimable (445)
disreputable (445)
amenable (445)
akara balls (447)
queues (447)
ex-gratia (447)
• imperious (448)
• demijohn (450)
• commiserate (450)