Chinua Achebe’s “Dead Men’s Path” begins with a young and enthusiastic schoolteacher named Michael Obi. Michael is chosen and becomes the head teacher of the Ndume Central School. He is helped by his wife Nancy, and they both immediately start to establish new changes to the school. Their first change is to add a garden and modernize the school; another change is to increase the level of education. One day Michael sees a woman from a local village walk through the garden. A teacher tells Michael that the path runs through the school yard and connects a village shrine with a sacred burial place. Michael’s young superstition decides to close and shut down the path. After doing so, a priest from the village warns him to fix the path or bad things will happen, but Michael doesn’t listen. A couple days later a woman dies in child birth and the school was badly damaged and Michael receives a bad review from the school supervisor.
The main central idea in “Dead Men’s Path” is that culture and modern ideas don’t always work together and that culture should be respected. In Michaels eyes he was helping and fixing the school, but didn’t realize he was disturbing and disrespecting other people’s beliefs. So what I think Chinua Achebe’s was trying to point out in his story “ Dead Men’s Path” was that people underestimate others views and beliefs and sometimes disrespect their beliefs by trying to change things that shouldn’t be. Finally people need to respect others cultural customs instead of trying to change them to what they think is correct.
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