Dead Men's Path: Destruction of Tradition

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Traditions have consistently been unaltered, obsolete, and seen today as unconventional, as society keeps on modernizing at a fast pace. Michael Obi, the focal character in the story Dead Men’s Path, endeavors to carry off traditionalism at his new position, while ingraining his convictions of an increasingly modern world. This endeavor to impart another world into a current one demonstrates the consequences of trying to change what has been fixed for ages.

Michael Obi, portrayed as a youthful, fiery man, is euphoric to discover that he will be the new superintendent of a school that has been in urgent need of assistance for quite a while. Obi was viewed as a ‘pivotal teacher’ and he and his wife are both groundbreaking and anxious to present this advanced life to everybody. Chinua Achebe demonstrates Obi’s cutting-edge excitement through Obi’s statement that ‘We shall do our best,’ she Obi’s wife) replied. ‘We shall have such beautiful gardens and everything will be just modern and delightful…’ He additionally demonstrates Obi’s perspectives on the traditionalist individuals by assaulting their character alluding to them as, ‘ these old and superannuated people in the teaching field.’ One of his objectives for the school was to make the grounds a beautiful area. 

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Over time the flowers blossomed, and the garden became magnificent. As Obi is observing and admiring his work, he encounters an elderly person from the town who strolls straight over the blooms onto what Obi finds to be an old, swoon, and practically unused pathway. Obi addresses an instructor and discovers precisely what the pathway was utilized for. ‘It amazes me,’ said Obi to one of the educators who had been three years in the school, ‘ that you people allowed the villagers to make use of this footpath. It is simply incredible.’ He shook his head. ‘The path,’ the educator said conciliatory,’ appears to be very important to them. 

Although it is hardly used, it connects the village shrine with their place of burial.’ Obi couldn’t have cared less about the explanation and for dread that the coming inspector may see individuals on school grounds who didn’t have a place, requested that the pathway be closed off promptly, paying little heed to admonitions from the teacher. The pathway was then obstructed with overwhelming logs and fortified with barbed wire. A priest was sent by the offended villagers to attempt to convince Obi of a change of heart, squeezing upon him the noteworthiness that the path has not to simply the villagers, yet in addition the deceased who walk the path. ‘Look here my son, this path was here before you were born and before your father was born. The whole life of the 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.’ Obi dismissed the priests’ words and in ridiculing answered to him ‘ Dead men don’t walk.’ he rejected his lineage and rather picked the modern way. The pathway stayed blocked and a couple of days after, a town lady passed away during labor. The villagers accepted that as a sign that if the pathway stays blocked, they would endure many curses and misfortunes. Accepting that the mother would be not able rest in peace and the kid be incapable of walking the pathway to enter the world, the villagers ended up disturbed and tore down a school building and everything used to block the pathway and the flowers planted to intrigue the inspector. When the inspector showed up at last, he was given grounds that were annihilated alongside a headmaster who contemplated only himself and altering the past to bring forth modern ideals.

In the story, with the depictions of the pompous director and his absence of regard for the older folks and their customs, the narrator plainly has favored one side with the villagers. Chinua Achebe expresses, ‘ The whole purpose of our school is to eradicate such beliefs as that. Dead men do not require footpaths. The whole idea is just fantastic. Our duty is to teach your children to laugh at such ideas.’ The primary concern being referred to in the story is in reference to the villagers’ convictions and traditions and the significance it held in their lives. Obi wasn’t right in his intuition and in his techniques, accepting that he can simply cut the individuals off from what is currently viewed as a funeral in today’s world. With regards to the destruction and dismissal of something that was and is imperative to individuals, for example, conventions regardless of how old the traditions might be, no one has the privilege to refute an individual’s experience and no one can evacuate an individual’s conviction and substitute it with their own. 

A new societies’ conviction may appear to be whimsical; however, to the individuals who trust it, it is as much a crucial piece of their lives as innovation is in our own. The core of an individual’s conviction is in having confidence although what you accept can never be demonstrated. What occurs in death is an ideal case of this. No one alive can realize what occurs after death so we are left with our minds to trust that our friends and family are in a superior spot as opposed to in the ground or left as fiery debris. Individuals need that confidence to carry on because on occasion, the idea of never again interacting with those individuals can be agonizing. Our bloodline’s customs and traditions are significant on the grounds that the main knowledge we have of things we have no understanding on is in the ideals passed down for ages. Similarly as the story clarified, the villagers were so solid in their convictions of the pathway that when it ended up blocked they destroyed the school and ‘The beautiful hedges were torn up not just near the path but right around the school…flowers trampled…one of the school buildings torn down…’ The significance of an individual’s culture is something beyond the beliefs of them alone; it associates a gathering of people who accept the same beliefs and enables them all to meet a common goal.

As expressed in Achebe’s Dead Men’s Path, Obi should not make an attempt to rewrite the history of a traditions, which, with his deriding answer to the priest is exactly what he attempted to do, telling him that ‘ …Our duty is to teach your children to laugh at such ideas.’ It is imperative to recollect and to respect traditions. Numerous individuals battle to keep their conventions alive. In Dead Men’s Path , the villagers battled to preserve the pathway, with the goal that those who pass away rest in peace and the villagers’ traditions are carried on for generations to come, regardless of the actions of those like Obi, with intent to change and modernize it.           

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