Dead Men's Path

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Written by Chinua Achebe originally in 1953 about a recently appointed headmaster of a school, who was enthusiastic about his new job and being able to do the best he can to make the school meet its highest standard and appearance. He later on learns a lesson about respecting ancient traditions that will leave him in awe. QUESTION:

What is the impact of the ironic conclusion to the story?
Respect in my country is devotedly practiced. No matter what religion it is, superstitious belief, or tradition, it is highly respected by everyone. I remember when I was pregnant with my first born, when my mother-in-law noticed me sitting by the stairs of our veranda while waiting for my husband to get home from work. She told me not to sit there and wait, because I might have a hard time giving birth and that I might go through a longer labor for doing so. It has been an “ancient” superstitious belief that I roll my eyes on. But, because it has been practiced by Filipinos for centuries, I abide by it. It is one way of showing my respect to Filipino superstitious beliefs Just like Obi of Dead Men’s Path, there are some thing’s I do not believe in. But, just because I do not believe in it does not mean I have the right to disrespect it. If my belief was to be disregarded, my feelings will be hurt especially if it’s something I love, respect, and believe in. RESPONSE AND QUOTATION:

In the story, Dead Men’s Path, the priest told Obi, “…this path was here before you were born and before your father was born. The whole life of this village depends on it. Our dead relatives depart by it and our ancestors visit us by it. But most important, it is the path of children coming in to be born…” This quote struck me the most, because the priest meant by heart how much they respect the “path of the dead”. But, regardless of the compromising approach the priest presented to Obi, he still stood by his high standards for work, and laughed on the ancient belief...
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