Dead Mans Path

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“Dead Mens Path”

In the story, Dead Mens Path, the beliefs between modern thinking and religious beliefs clash together between a transfer teacher and a native priest. Different points of views come to pass and while the two men believe that one is right and one is wrong, is actually false. Modern thinking and religious beliefs both have their own time and place, and while it may seem strange, both can be right. Michael Obi, the transfer teacher, argues that the only way people should live their lives, is to follow more closely to logic, rather than go with beliefs and superstitions. Mr. Obi says in the story “The whole purpose of our school is to eradicate just such beliefs as that. Dead men do not require footpaths. The whole idea is just fantastic. Our duty is to teach your children to laugh at such ideas.”(Achebe 45). Mr. Obi strongly believes in the following of modern logic and thinking. On the other hand, the village priest argues that religious and beliefs should be followed closely because they have governed people’s lives since the very beginning. The priest explains to Mr. Obi, “What you say may be true, but we follow the practices of our fathers. If you reopen the path we shall have nothing to quarrel about. What I always say is: let the hawk perch and let the eagle perch.”(Achebe 45). Basically, what the priest is saying, is let things stay as they have always been. Why fix what is not broken? For example, earlier on in the story, the priest tells Mr. Obi that the footpath has been there for many generations. That is where the dead depart, the ancestors visit, and childbirth is decided. In the end though, the strength of the the religious beliefs shine through with the misfortunes that happen to Mr. Obi at the end of the story. Because he blocked off the entrance and exit of the pathway, things were torn apart and destroyed and trampled over. After this happens, the government inspector shows up to grade the school premises and gives it a failing...
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