Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe Literary Analysis: Theme and Philosophical Assumptions



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Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe

Literary Analysis: Theme and Philosophical Assumptions

The theme of a literary work is the central message it communicates. To express a theme, a writer may take one of these approaches: (1) directly state the theme of the work, or have a character directly state it; or (2) create patterns of story elements to suggest a larger meaning. Themes that appeal to all times and cultures are universal themes.



In many cases, a theme reflects a philosophical assumption—the writer’s basic beliefs about life. The writer’s literary work may reflect these beliefs.

A. DIRECTIONS: Write Achebe’s philosophical assumption in “Civil Peace.” Then, explain how three major events in the story reflect this philosophical assumption. Finally, write the central theme in your own words.

Philosophical assumption:

First major event and how it reflects Achebe’s assumption:

Second major event and how it reflects Achebe’s assumption:

Third major event and how it reflects Achebe’s assumption:


Theme:

B. DIRECTIONS: Achebe’s theme in “Civil Peace” is a universal theme. In other words, it has meaning in all times and for all cultures. Explain how this theme applies to modern life in the United States.


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