The Concept of Change as Depicted in Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Dead Man's Path

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Change is a hard concept for many people to grasp. When people have a routine, it is hard to get them to break it and change their ways. Whether it is because they are reluctant or just cannot get out of the rut, people hold onto what they know. In both stories, Things Fall Apart and “Dead Man’s Path,” the main characters have trouble adjusting and accepting the new ways that have been presented to them. Okonkwo and Michael Obi are comfortable as well as content and struggle with change.

In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo has a hard time adjusting to new ways brought upon his life and is already content with how his life currently is. In Okonkwo’s village he is very involved and knows things there like the back of his hand, since this is what has been in existence since he was a young boy. When things begin to change, he is shaken up and has a difficult time adjusting. These ideas are prominent in the novel, for example when his son, Nwoye, chooses to become part of the missionaries group and his father becomes angered because this is a decision that is out of the blue and this is not what his father has in mind for his oldest son. When the missionaries invade into the culture, Okonkwo wants to kill all of them so that this change could not occur. Also, Okonkwo has a sudden thought to wage war on the missionaries to drive them out of the village and not cause change. The most obvious reason that proves Okonkwo cannot handle change is when he takes his own life by hanging himself. This decision shows that he would rather die than accept the change brought upon the village by the white missionaries. In the end, this choice shows that his struggle is too great of a burden to bear and just cannot handle it anymore.

In “Dead Man’s Path,” Michael Obi is struggling with his change and is not exactly certain what to do in his new position. Obi is a newly appointed headmaster of a school and is taking his new job with bittersweet emotions. Coming into a new school, he is...
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