Private peaceful

Private Peaceful Novel Summary ENGL

  • 8

    Charlie Gives Tommo a Piggyback

    Shows that Charlie cares about Tommo and that he will care about him throughout the entire book.
  • 11

    Mr. Munnings Picks on Tommo

    Shows that Charlie has painted the Peaceful's in a bad light and that he is a trouble maker.
  • 13

    Tommo Starts School

    Tommo starts school with Miss McAllister. This is where he meets Molly for the first time.
  • 14

    Tommo's Father Dies

    While Tommo's father is cutting downs trees nearby, another tree begins falling on Tommo. The father dies pushing Tommo out of the way.
  • 19

    Big Joe and Meningitis

    Enhances perspective we have on Big Joe. We know why he is the way he is. We also learn that the Peaceful family is caring.
  • 22

    The Big Fight

    Jimmy Parsons was making fun of Big Joe and Tommo decides to stand up for him. They begin to fight. Charlie steps in and saves Tommo. This boosts the brotherly bond. Also, shows that Charlie has courage. We see this courage develops throughout the novel.
  • 29

    The Colonel Tries to Evict Them

    The colonel informs Mother that if she does not begin to work at the house, the family will be evicted.Gramma Wolf lives with the family, while Mother is gone. We learn that Gramma Wolf is mean and how she likes the Colonel. We also see how terrible a person the Colonel is. The family's response to all of this shows how they stick together as a family.
  • 35

    Death of the Mouse

    Gramma Wolf hated mice. Big Joe still had one. She kills it. The children have a funeral for it and sing oranges and lemons. They all grow closer together even though times were tough. We also learn about Gramma Wolf's character and how terrible she is.
  • 39

    The Colonel's Wife Dies

    The colonel's wife dies in her wheelchair choking on a scone. Mother, without a job, returns home. Gramma Wolf moves out and later goes to live with the colonel. The colonel's wife informs the colonel that he cannot evict Mother and her children from the house. This marks a triumph fo the family.
  • 45

    Molly and Scarlet Fever

    Molly becomes ill and Charlie and Tommo go to visit her. Her parents do not want them around because they think they are a bad influence. Shows us that Molly's parents really don't like the boys. This leads to conflict later on.
  • 48

    When Tommo and Charlie are Caught Poaching

    This event leads up to Tommo realizing that Molly isn't his girl. She is Charlie's. It shows how Charlie and Tommo were brave and not afraid. Shows how poor they were. Also, shows the Colonel's terrible character. He would not even let them hunt food on his land to survive. He saw it as theft!
  • 53

    When Charlie and Molly Leave School

    Tommo feels deserted. He feels this again when Charlie and Molly start to be together and also when Charlie leaves the war to go and see her.
  • 55

    Yellow Aeroplane.

    Shows that war was about the begin. Positive memory that later becomes negative.
  • 63

    Mother Buys Bertha

    After Charlie steals Bertha, Mother has to confront the colonel to get Charlie out of trouble. She mocks the colonel in the process. We see traits of Charlie's courage and character in Mother.
  • 69

    I Am Not a Kid Anymore

    Charlie and Tommo's relashionship begins to change. They start growing up and acting like men.
  • 71

    Molly's Parents Discover the Letters

    Charlie and Tommo walk home to find Molly and her mother in the house. The mother proceeds to tell Charlie about how she knows he loves Molly and how it is disgusting. She forbids them from every seeing each other again.
  • 75

    When Bertha is Shot

    The colonel shoots Bertha and gets revenge on the Peaceful family. This tells us a lot about his character. He is very similar to Horrible Hanley.
  • 77

    Bertha is Buried

    Bog Joe believes that she went up to heaven with Father. Shows religiousness.
  • 78

    Big Joe Goes Missing

    We see a different side of the colonel. He helps look for Big Joe. Perhaps he is not so bad after all...
  • 85

    Big Joe is Found

    Shows Big Joe believes that heaven is in the church tower. The theme of religion is reinforced.
  • 106

    Off to War

    Charlie was forced, but Tommo goes to support his Brother. They are on a train. Tommo remarks that they are going through a tunnel and it feels as though they have never left it. He is reffering to the trenches.
  • 106


    Charlie lies for Tommo about his age saying that they are twins so that Tommo will be accepted. They do not get the nice red uniforms but rather khaki with boots that are too big.
  • 109

    Charlie Stands up to Horrible Hanley

    Horrible Hanley and Charlie do not get along well. Charlie always stands up to him and enjoys pressing his buttons using positive comments.
  • 109

    Training is not as Expected

    Tommo explains that the training is much easier that expected and that all the men are simply "play acting". They run, dig, stand to, and stab dummies.
  • 113

    Tommo and Charlie Arrive in France

    Tommo and Charlie realize that they are no longer "play acting". Reality smacks them in the face when they see all of the injured soldiers.
  • 115

    Sargent Hanley Provokes Charlie

    Charlie is trying to make the best of war and will not give the Sergeant what he wants. This also tells the reader something about the author's characters: Charlie is brave and Horrible Hanley is horrible!
  • 117

    Field Punishment #1

    We see that Charlie protects his brother and stands up for what he believes in. This happens throughout the novel, to the point where Charlie loses his life because of it.
  • 117

    Tommo Passes Out

    Seargent Horrible Hanley looks at Tommo's gun and deems it dirty. He makes Tommo run five laps around the field. Tommo gets tired and passes out.
  • 137

    Terrible Trenches

    Tommo and Charlie move trenches. The ones they are moved to are in a deplorable state: rats, lice, water, mud. Tommo and Charlie discover the realities of trench warfare.
  • 140

    The Crooked Finger and Cowardess

    As Tommo and his company conquer their first fight, he remembers the old woman that called him a coward. He feels triumphant not because they won the raid, but because he did not run (like the time he did during the recruitment).
  • 145

    Shot in the Foot

    Charlie is injured and has to go back home. Tommo is upset by this and feels left behind. He has felt this way many times before with Molly and Charlie.
  • 164

    Charlie Returns from Home

    Charlie returns as if he has never left. He becomes a symbol of hope for the men. As soon as he arrives, he tells off Horrible Hanley.
  • 166

    When Charlie Comforts Tommo

    Tommo curls up in a ball and begins to scream because he is overridden with fear. Charlie lies down beside him to confront him and they sing Oranges and Lemons. It is not enough.
  • 180

    Charlie's Forgiveness

    Tommo is relieved from the guilt of his father's death as Charlie explains that he and the family knew all along that it was an accident.
  • 185

    A Big Almighty Push

    After Charlie dies, the six men who shot him say good-bye. Tommo hears that there is going to be an almighty push and is headed for the Somme. Historically, 60,000 British soldiers die in this battle. Tommo must survive because he has "promises to keep".
  • Bertha's Been Stolen

    Charlie steals Bertha because the colonel is going to kill her. She is old and worthless to him. However, she is still his property and he becomes very angry when she goes missing.
  • Molly's Pregnant

    Charlie and Tommo come home to find that Molly has been kicked out of her house and is now living with them. She is pregnant with Charlie's baby. Tommo feels betrayed once again by Charlie and Molly.
  • Anna's Death

    Tommo goes to the estaminet, but cannot find Anna. He tells Tommo that Anna was killed by a rogue boche shell while on an errand for eggs. Tommo is saddened and kisses her grave as he does not believe that she is in heaven.
  • Meeting Anna

    Tommo and his crew go to the estaminet called Pop. There he meets a lovely girl named Anna who he develops feelings for!
  • Capture of the German Soldier

    Tommo, Charlie and the rest of the night watch gang are told to go searching for a German soldier to take as a prisoner of war.
  • The Watch

    Wilkie gets injured in battle. In the hospital, Wilkie gives Charlie the infamous watch. Tommo continuously refers to it throughout the novel.
  • Mustard Gas Attack and the Kind German

    Tommo and friends are attacked by mustard gas. While escaping the gas, Tommo runs into a German. He spares Tommo's life.
  • Letters from Home

    Tommo's mother's letter talks about what is happening at home and how she hopes to see him soon. Charlie and Molly's letter talks about their son, little Tommo. Molly and Mother do not know of the realities of trench warfare.
  • Charlie Comes Back from the Dead

    Everyone thought Charlie was dead, including Tommo. Charlie returns at night injured. He must be sent away to heal. We do not know if this injury was self-inflicted or not.
  • Charlie is Sent Home

    Due to his foot injury, Charlie is to be sent home. Tommo is jealous and upset by this because he will get to see his family and most importantly Molly. Tommo also felt this way when he discovered that Charlie and Molly were together.
  • Charlie VS Horrible Hanley: The Final Argument

    Charlie stands up to Hanley in the dugout. He wishes to stay behind not only to help Tommo, but to prevent the others from committing suicide by going out. He wishes to wait until nightfall. Hanley refuses and threatens Charlie with the Court Marshal. Hanley proceeds, many die, except Hanley...
  • Charlie Gives Tommo the Watch

    Charlie gives Tommo the watch. He gives the watch and asks Tommo to take are of things. The watch becomes a symbol for Tommo.
  • Charlie Dies

    Charlie is shot by the firing squad. There is no justice. He refuses to have his face covered, looks up at the sky, and sings Oranges and Lemons.
  • Propaganda and the Crooked Finger

    While running errands for farmer Cox, Tommo sees a parade of soldiers in bright red uniforms. There is talk of how "great" the war is. A lady points Tommo and calls him a coward for not signing up. He runs away.
  • Charlie Must Go to War

    Molly tells Charlie and Tommo that the Colonel will only let them stay in the house if Charlie goes off to War. Charlie protests, but then agrees. Tommo decides that he will go to war to support his brother. He cannot justify staying behind with a family that can take care of themselves. This forces Tommo and Charlie to repair their broken bond.