“ Dead Men ‘s Way ” is a short narrative written in 1972 by African Author Chinua Achebe. It is about Michael Obi, a immature and energetic adult male excited about all things modern who is merely assigned a place to run a traditional school. Not long into the occupation, he finds that along with his ill-conceived ardor, disregarding the traditions of his people can hold great effects.
Obi is a bright and enthusiastic immature adult male who is excited to happen out that he will be the new schoolmaster of a school that has been in despairing demand of aid for some clip. Obi was considered a “ polar instructor ” and he and his married woman are both frontward thought and tidal bore to portion the modern life with everyone. Chinua Achebe shows the Obi ‘s modern enthusiasm by authorship: “ We shall make our best, ‘ she Obi ‘s married woman ) replied. “ We shall hold such beautiful gardens and everything will be merely modern and delicious… ” He besides shows Obi ‘s positions of the diehard people by assailing their character mentioning to them as, “ these old and overage people in the instruction field. ” Of his two ends for the school, one was to do the evidences a topographic point of beauty. An approaching review was the perfect motive to get down what he thought to be great betterments. In clip the gardens blossomed with beautiful ruddy and xanthous flowers. As Obi is look up toing his work, he comes across an old adult female from the small town who walks consecutive across the flowers onto what Obe discovers to be an old swoon about fresh way. Obi speaks to a instructor and finds out precisely what the way was used for. “ It amazes me, ” said Obi to one of the instructors who had been three old ages in the school, “ that you people allowed the villagers to do usage of this pathway. It is merely unbelievable. ” He shook his caput. “ The way, ” the instructor said apologetically, ” appears to be really of import to them. Although it is barely used, it connects the small town shrine with their topographic point of entombment. ” Obi did n’t care about the ground and for fright that the coming inspector may see people on school evidences who did n’t belong, demanded that the pathway be closed off instantly regardless of warnings from the instructor. The way was so blocked with heavy logs and reinforced with biting wire. A priest was sent by the indignant villagers to seek and speak some sense into Obi, pressing upon him the significance that the way has non to merely the villagers, but besides the dead who walk the way. “ Look here my boy, this way was here before you were born and before your male parent was born. The whole life of the small town depends on it. Our dead relations depart by it and our ascendants visit us by it. But most of import, it is the way of kids coming in to be born. ” Obi rejected the priests words and in mocking replied to him “ Dead work forces do n’t walk. ” he dismissed his lineage and alternatively chose the modern manner. The way remained out of use and a few yearss subsequently a small town adult female died in childbearing. The villagers took that as a mark that if the way remains out of use they would endure great bad luck. Believing that the female parent would be unable to rest in peace and the kid unable to walk the way and enter the universe, the villagers became agitated and tore down a school edifice every bit good as everything used to barricade the way and the flowers planted to affect the inspector. When the inspector eventually arrived, he was presented with evidences that were wholly destroyed along with a schoolmaster who thought merely about himself and wipe outing the yesteryear to go modern.
In the narrative, with the descriptions of the pretentious schoolmaster and his deficiency of regard for the seniors and their traditions the storyteller clearly has taken sides with the villagers. Chinua Achebe writes, “ The whole intent of our school is to eliminate such beliefs as that. Dead work forces do non necessitate pathwaies. The whole thought is merely antic. Our responsibility is to learn your kids to express joy at such thoughts. ” The chief point in inquiry in the narrative is in mention to the villager ‘s beliefs and imposts and the importance it held in their lives. Obi was incorrect in his thought and in his methods, believing that he can merely cut the people off from what in our clip would be considered a funeral. When it comes to the devastation and rejection of something that was and is of import to people such as traditions no affair how old the imposts may be, cipher has the right to contradict a individual ‘s background and cipher has the ability to take a individual ‘s belief and replacement it with their ain. An unfamiliar civilizations belief may look notional but to those who believe it, it is every bit much a critical portion of their lives as engineering is in ours. The bosom of a individual ‘s belief is in holding faith although what you believe can ne’er be proven. What happens in decease is a perfect illustration of this. Cipher alive can cognize what happens after decease so we are left with our imaginativenesss to trust that our loved 1s are in a better topographic point instead than in the land or left as ashes. Peoples need that religion to transport on because at times the idea of ne’er once more seeing those people can be intolerable. Our ascendant ‘s traditions and imposts are of import because the lone cognition we have of things we have no cogent evidence on is in the things passed down for coevalss. Merely as the narrative explained, the villagers were so strong in their beliefs of the way that when it became blocked they attacked the school and everything that was barricading the sacred way: “ The beautiful hedges were torn up non merely near the way but right around the school… flowers trampled… one of the school edifices torn down… ” The importance of a individual ‘s civilization is more than merely the religion of a individual individual, it connects a group of people who believe likewise and allows them to work together with the same terminal consequences. As stated in Achebe ‘s Dead Men ‘s Path, modern-day community should n’t make as Obi and seek to eliminate the nucleus of a people ‘s beliefs which, with his mocking answer to the priest is merely what he tried to do. “ … Our responsibility is to learn your kids to express joy at such thoughts. ” It is of import to retrieve and to honour traditions. Many people fight to maintain their traditions alive, whether it ‘s an old adult female doing her eightieth one-year pilgrim’s journey to a Mexican graveyard to illume a taper at Dona Candelaria de Sapien ‘s grave or Native American folk members dressed in full ceremony vesture dancing to observe the coming rain. In Achebe ‘s narrative, the people fought to maintain the way free so that those who pass on can rest in peace and the traditions of the villagers can transport on for coevalss to come, far beyond the lives of the priests, villagers and Obi.