The war began in when the Igbo tried to form Independent Republic of Biafra. The war was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various people of Nigeria. Nigeria was an artificial structure initiated by the British which had neglected to consider religious, linguistic and ethnic differences.
There was a confrontation between the north Hausas and the east Igbo because the Igbo tribesmen wanted to secede and to have a separate Republic of Biafra. The historical context of the war has affected the characters and events in the story. Achebes story takes place after the war. He was inspired by the people who survived after the war. The strong main character is Jonathan Iwegbu.
Jonathan conveying a strong message to his post civil war generations. Jonathan considers himself and his families as a lucky person because they survived during the war. He, his wife and three of their four children are alive. Jonathan is lucky to have his old bicycle which he puts to use as a taxi.
His taxi service allows him to make money, within two weeks he has earned pounds. He then travels back to Enugu and his surprised to see that his house still standing there. He hires a carpenter to repair his house then moves his family back into the house. The whole family put their effort to earn some money and recreate their lives. Jonathan, himself at first gives taxi rides on his bicycle, then opens a palm-wine bar and finally collects his egg-rasher money for. His children pick mangoes and his wife, Maria sells akara balls to neighbours.
His activity attracts the attention of a band of thieves. They come to his house at night and demand for pounds. They try to call for help but nobody turn up. The robbers took the twenty pounds; the egg-rasher that he received and then leave.
The next morning, Jonathan life goes on as usual like nothing happened to him last night. He believes nothing puzzles God, which means that the robbery has a greater meaning than how it seemed in Gods eyes. The story itself has many possible themes. I choose to discuss the theme of thankfulness or be grateful to God. After reading the story, I find that Jonathan is a spiritual man who has a strong optimistic view of life which has kept him from madness and it gives him the necessary strength to take care of himself and his family.
For him nothing puzzles God. God gives him chance to rebuild his life even though he took one of his children during the war. Jonathan thanks to God because he still have a wife and three children. He never complains about what had happened to him and his family. Jonathans faith in God makes him physically and mentally stronger than others. Instead of mourning the lost of a child, he thinks of everyone who alive.
The most important thing for him is to be thankful for what you have been given and especially not to forget vocally praise the wisdom of God. Its not easy to reconstruct life after a war. There are so many things to do after the war. We need to rebuild lives, houses and buildings need to be reconstructed and the government needs to restructure its nation. A lucky Jonathan thanks to God he had an old bicycle which help him lots to survive. They lost everything during the war; they didnt have money to move on their routine of life.
His bicycle helps him to gain. The money is the most important thing to reconstruct lives, houses and buildings. Achebes idea of putting a bicycle as a medium of survival after the war was very brilliant. It may consider his experience of the suffered live during the post war life. People lost everything during the war. Other than materials and properties, they also lost hope. The war really affected their life.
Achebe gives a hope of carrying life to Jonathan character by created a plot of a house. When Jonathan returns home and sees that his house is still there he was the most grateful person at that time. God gives him a place, a shelter to live with his beloved family.
Even though it is not same as before but it brings lots of memories to make himself strong to rebuild lives. Jonathan character remains us to be thankful and grateful to what we already had. Do appreciate what we had now and do not compare to others.
Nothing puzzles God; he knows what the best for us. Do not forget to thanks God every time. For me Achebe put Jonathan as a symbol of hope to all the Nigerians who have survived the civil war and who are yearning for civil peace. Remember to be thankful for what you have been given; no matter happened life must move on, keep working hard and God will take care the rest. Learn more about Scribd Membership Home.
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