Dead Men's Path Analysis

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As culture changes, people’s ways of thinking also change as Chinua Achebe highlights this in his story “Dead Men’s Path”. It is a story about an African young man, Michael Obi, the newly appointed headmaster of Ndume Central School, who wants to reverse its backward ways by forcing modern changes to the school, however, during the process of doing so, he intervenes with the village’s traditional beliefs by placing a fence across the pathway that is an important part of their traditional beliefs and customs. “Dead Men’s Path” mirrors the change in culture and the way of thinking of people in Nigeria, Africa during and after the colonization of Britain. Two literary approaches will be used to arrive at a deeper understanding and to yield a more coherent interpretation of the story written by Achebe. Entering the minds of the Obis, one can fully understand how their actions are driven…show more content…
The pride that comes along with her husband being headmaster causes Nancy to be delusional, picturing herself as the queen of the school, who will be admired and envied by the wives of teachers under her husband. However, she got worried that all their colleagues are young and unmarried; therefore, there will be no wives that would want her position. In other words, she cannot be queen if there are no subordinates. Nancy Obi who is on the id level is just thinking and concerned about her personal intentions and image. On an unconscious note, Nancy’s irrational desires and selfish needs drive her to imagine such things. “Dead Men’s Path” was published in 1972, when Africa was trying to elude itself from its colonial past and established a post-colonial identity. Britain transformed Africa in many aspects that had effects on African society, such as the contrast in belief systems due to the progress of new modern

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