Thom Wiens and Pete Block Rudy Wiebe’s novel, Peace Shall Destroy Many, tells of a story that takes place inthe heart of Saskatchewan and describes the problems of a Mennonite community.Thereare many contrasting beliefs in this Mennonite community.Beliefs about traditions, theMétis, and war going on around them.These beliefs come up within two characters inthis novel, Thom Wiens, and Pete Block.These two friends have many things incommon, yet throughout the novel, their differences start to shine through.Their beliefsstart to change and their friendship starts to dwindle, although in the end they bothdiscover flaws within the community.Thom and Pete share a few similarities, some keydifferences, and they both change their ways as the story progresses. Thom and Pete show a few similarities, but they don’t agree on everything.
Thomand Pete, both brought up in a Mennonite community, have been taught the traditions ofthe fathers. Knowing eachother all their lives, they are good friends.They first bothaccept the traditions without question because the traditions are the only answer, they aresimply “right”(5).Also, Pete and Thom both agree that war is evil, but for differentreasons.
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Neither of them want to be in the army, because they believe in non-resistance (6& 213). Both Thom and Pete also look up to Pete’s father, Deacon Block. Although thisalso changes for both of them, especially Thom, as the story continues. We are shown many differences between Thom and Pete in how they live theirlives, and in what they believe and fallow. The two boys agree that war is evil, but theyhave two different reasons for this. Pete believes he should not join the army because heis a Mennonite, and Mennonites taught their children not to resist their enemies(213). Healso has a lot of work to do on the farm and he can freely say that it would be against hisconscience to go in the army (7).
Thom’s reason for not going to war was that he is aChristian so he cannot go out and kill his fellow man.He is aware of the misery of thesoldiers who are fighting a “Battle of Freedom” for them, but perhaps a Christian is onearth for a different purpose (210, 212).Thom had thought about it for a great deal, andhis reasons went beyond the mere teaching of the fathers (213).Thom and Pete alsodiffer in what they think should be done with their lives. Thom thinks there’s more toliving than just work, like friendships (164 – 165).
Pete Block never questions the waystheir colony does things, he just plodded in his father’s ways (165).Thom, on the otherhand, questions the traditions of the fathers, and he see flaws in the Deacon’s methods(165).He doesn’t just believe that whatever the Deacon says is right (262, 263). This is aproblem that leads to more disagreements between Thom and Pete in church areas. Thomwants to teach the Métis so they can eventually join the church.Pete doesn’t see the pointin that because they will not be accepted in the Mennonite church, the Métis are not likethem and they only speak Cree and English (234). Thom thinks that there’s room in thechurch and the language isn’t the problem, language can be learned, but they need to learnto love (238). These two boys may be in the same colony, but their different views onlife and ways of thinking make it harder for the two close friends to communicate witheachother (227), and.