Peace Shall Destroy Many

3603 Words Mar 1st, 2006 15 Pages
Thom Wiens and Pete Block Rudy Wiebe's novel, Peace Shall Destroy Many, tells of a story that takes place in the heart of Saskatchewan and describes the problems of a Mennonite community. There are many contrasting beliefs in this Mennonite community. Beliefs about traditions, the
Métis, and war going on around them. These beliefs come up within two characters in this novel, Thom Wiens, and Pete Block. These two friends have many things in common, yet throughout the novel, their differences start to shine through. Their beliefs start to change and their friendship starts to dwindle, although in the end they both discover flaws within the community. Thom and Pete share a few similarities, some key differences, and they both change
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Thom, who once believed Block to be a brilliant man and whom he strongly looked up to, began to doubt and see many flaws in his ways (165). In the last chapter of the book, Thom's crises was what was the truth that must be followed? He thought his only choices were to choose the old Block way or the young Unger way (279). The Christmas play about the Wisemen following the star to the savior in Bethlehem, leads Thom to find his way. He realized that two wars did not confront him, only one's two faces (287.) Thom understands that the war in Wapiti is to secure a right relationship with the Indians and Métis. J.M. Robinson, in his introduction, explains, "Just as "war" is not necessarily bad, so "peace" is not necessarily good. The peace based on neglect and evasion will destroy (xix). Pete also changes. Pete Block was known to accept the traditions without question and he stood firm in his belief (6,7). He followed exactly in his father's footsteps and he never thought for himself (165).
However, Pete comes to Thom's Sunday school class with the Métis to see for himself what his Papa said. It was the first time Thom had ever know Pete to check his father's opinions with facts, rather than simply taking his father's every word (236). Also, in the last chapter of the book, Peter smashed Herb, and when his father questioned him, Peter replied "Pa, you