Dead Mans Path

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Conflict between the village and the headmaster

In the short story “Dead Men’s Path” the author Chinua Achebe tells us a story about Obi, his wife, the village and the people that live there. This short story shows us some relation to conformity, identity, and rebellion, because of some conflict and things that went on in the village. This village had a school that was “unprogressive”, and needed a new headmaster. Obi was picked as the new headmaster, because he was young. The “Mission authorities” decided to put him in charge, because he was young and they wanted to see a change in the school. Obi and his wife were really happy and satisfied with this decision.

Obi wanted to make a difference! All the other teachers were young and that made Obi happy, because they don’t have families and can put their full attention on teaching and the school. His wife planted a garden near the school to make it look more modern and beautiful. One day he saw an old woman going somewhere through a path that was barely used near the school. That didn’t make him very happy, so he had it blocked at both ends. Blocking the path made an old priest of the village come up to him and tells him why it was so important to the village. Turns out that on the other side of the path was a burial ground, and people form the village went and visited their ancestors though that path. They also believed that the dead ancestors used that same path to come to the visit the village. The priest tried to make a point that it wasn’t a good idea to close the path, but Obi didn’t listen. He strongly believed that the path makes the school look bad, and that it can be made in a different place. So he didn’t do anything about it. When he wakes up, he finds a big mess near the school. That same day the inspector came and wrote a bad report. If Obi listened to the priest and opened the path, it would all be different.

Obi had a dream to make the school more modern, and to make it more beautiful. He...
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