Private Peaceful Essay

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Essay about Private Peaceful

Submitted: January 14, 2015

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Submitted: January 14, 2015



Private Peaceful is a novel by Michael Morpurgo. It is about Thomas Peaceful, a young boy whose dad, a forester, died because a tree fell on to him and crushed his body. Thomas feels like it is his fault, after all if Thomas had moved out of the way then his dad would not have had to push him out of the way. Thomas always feels guilty but he never told anyone that it was his entire fault. He feels useless at home, unwanted, especially after Molly got pregnant with Charlie’s baby and they got married. He decides to go to fight in the war with Charlie.


In this essay I am going to talk about family life, about the relationship between Charlie, Molly and Thomas, between the Colonel and the Peaceful family, between Big Joe and everyone in the town.


Mother cares very much about Big Joe. When Big Joe got ill, Mother hardly left his side. Mothers love for him, wouldn’t stop Charlie and Thomas from pulling pranks on him. Charlie bet Thomas an owl’s skull that he could get Big Joe to eat some rabbit droppings. He picked some up and put them in a bag. When he gave them to Big Joe, he told him that they were sweets. He kept eating them, savouring everyone and even offered Thomas and Charlie some. Mother found out and she made Charlie and Thomas eat some to see how bad they were. ‘“Horrible, isn’t it?” she said. “Horrible food for horrible children. Don’t you ever treat Big Joe like that ever again”’.


The Peaceful family revolved around Big Joe. If people were mean, treated him like he was stupid, then the family wouldn’t like them. People around them were used to him but would sometimes look the other way or even worse, just ignore him, pretend like he wasn’t even there.


Charlie and Thomas are very close to each other because when Thomas gets beaten up at school for trying to stop Big Jimmy Parsons calling Big Joe a loony, Charlie comes to the rescue. Thomas had a bleeding nose and blood on his hand. Charlie grabs Jimmy around the neck and pulls him to the ground. They were ‘rolling over and over, punching each other and swearing’. Mr Munnings comes running out and breaks up the fight. ‘Charlie gets the cane’. Between Jimmy’s hits you could her ‘“ow, sir! ow, sir!”’ but between Charlie’s whacks there was silence, Thomas was proud of Charlie for that. ‘I am so proud of him for that. I have the bravest brother in the world’.


When ‘Grandma Wolf’ moved in to the house she doesn’t care about how Big Joe feels. Grandma Wolf’ is Mother’s Aunt but they call her Grandma because she thought Great Aunt makes he sound ‘old and crotchety’. When Molly protested to do what she was asked once, she slapped her and sent her home. She talks to Big Joe like he is stupid or mad. When Big Joe doesn’t do what she wants, she would smack him. She would not let him go on his wanders, which he loved to do. ‘Grandma Wolf’ killed his mouse saying that she ‘“wasn’t going to have any dirty animals in her house”’. She made him get rid of all of his animals: the slowworm, the two lizards, the hedgehog. She didn’t want him to bring any animals in the house.


Charlie stole Bertha, the whitey-looking foxhound from up at the Big House. The Colonel was going to shoot her because she was too old and slow and when they went off hunting she would often wander off and get lost. Charlie hid Bertha in a shed in the forest. When the Colonel found out mother paid the Colonel a sixpence for her. Later on, the Colonel shot Bertha which really upset Big Joe. Bertha was always by his side. Big Joe went for a walk and didn’t come back. He loved the dog more than anything.


When Big Joe was missing, the whole town went looking for him, the police were involved but no-one could find him. The Colonel and ‘Granma Wolf’ were even out looking. Everyone thought he was dead, but then Molly remembered something, something very important. Big Joe wanted to be with Bertha, so he would try to go where she was, heaven. Big Joe thought that the belfry on the top of the church tower was heaven, well it was to him anyway. As soon as they heard this, Charlie and Thomas ran to the village and up to the Church. Charlie slipped and hurt his ankle so Thomas had to go up the tower by himself. At the top he found Big Joe curled up in a ball. He hugged him and shouted down to Charlie. Charlie sat on the ground shouting with joy. They rang the bell. Everyone now knew that he had been found and was safe. The Colonel bought everyone drinks to celebrate.


Soon after this, the Colonel said that Charlie had to go fight in the war or he would kick them out of the house. The Colonel wanted every boy/man that worked on or live on his estate to join up. Charlie went off to fight and Thomas went with him; they had to if they wanted the family to stay in the house. They couldn’t leave Molly with nowhere to live. They got on a train and went to army training. They learnt how to wear the khaki costumes, how to iron creases in and iron wrinkles out, how to polish their buttons, badges and boots, how to salute at the officers and how to fight.



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