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Dead Men's Path Presentation
Transcript of Dead Men's Path Presentation
-16th November, 1930
-‘Things Fall Apart‘ 1958 Dead Men's Path by Chinua Achbe -World religions and African culture
-Nigerian Broadcasting Service
-"language of colonizers"
- ‘Dead Men’s Path’ 1953 Author Personal Response Cultural heritage demolished in name of development scoff at old beliefs -Stained report --> the death in Michael’s career as headmaster.
-Michael = us
--> if we continue our thoughtless stamping out of
old beliefs / traditions
--> heading down Michael’s path
ie. the dead man’s path? -Michael Obi becomes the new headmaster of Ndume Central School
-he discovers that villagers are using a path that goes across the school compound
-the path is of great importance to the villagers
-Obi decides to close the path Summary Summary -he receives a call from the villages’ priest
-a young women in the village dies in childbed
-the Government Education Officers carries out inspection
-reports the school as being in a tribal-war situation with the village Themes and Symbols Importance of cultural respect and awareness
-The headmaster ignorance of the local tribe’s tradition.
-Lead to the utter destroy of his career
--> “nasty report” from the Supervisor. Theme I The gap between African and Western Ideologies
-African values “our dead relatives depart by it and our ancestors visit us by it”
-Western values “Dead men do not
require footpaths” Theme II The consequences of modernization
-The headmaster’s attempt to rid the village of superstitious beliefs
--> bad report from the Supervisor.
“Let the hawk perch and let the eagle perch” (268) Theme III The Path
-“connects the village shrine with their place of burial” (267)
-Symbolises tradition and religion of the tribe
-Serves as spiritual support Symbol I Barbed wire
-Symbolises the “modern” society’s refusal to accept traditional culture.
-The stamping out of “superstitious” beliefs
-Points out the difficulty of coexistence between modern and tradition Symbol II - Mocking the new generation; those who pride themselves as "educated ones" of:
1. inability to learn from history
2. thoughtless rejection and disrespect towards traditions / old beliefs Message I Message II Mocking the ignorant tampering/ destruction of cultural heritage in the name of development and modernization -Young man, looking 30+ --> maturity
-Energetic : accepted responsibility with enthusiasm
-Ambitious : insistence on high standards
"show these people how a school should be run"
--> foundation for irony Michael Obi -Stubborn:ignores the warning
-believes the best way is his way
-Proud, overconfidence in ability:deaf to heedings
-Disrespectful of old traditions:sarcastic – scoffs at ritualistic ideas and beliefs
“The whole purpose of our school is to eradicate just such beliefs as that…our duty is to teach your children to laugh at such ideas. Michael Obi -devoted to civiliaing the environment
-Young, have been married for 2 years
-Stronly influenced by husband
-Admires, fully supports her husband Nancy -depends heavily on how others perceive her
: first thinks of how other's view of her would change as she rises in social status
-Follower: imitates magazine
“Wives of the other teachers would envy her position”, "the queen of the school" Nancy -Old man
-Carries a stout walking-stick
-Holds a traditional view
--> Contrast to Michael Village Priest -Convinces obi of the path's importance
-Reasonable: does not deny truth in Obi's point
-Wise, intelligent : “let the hawk perch and let the eagle perch”
-Shows tolerance : “I have no more words to say”
--> wise men who commands respect Village Priest Michael Obi
-Accomplished secondary school student
-> should be successful
YET, fails. Irony -Over-confident in doing a better job than predecessors
-making a mistake other "old and superannuated" ones most like wouldn't have
-what he takes pride in --> leads to downfall --insistence in closing path to save report
--> what leads to "nasty report"
-modernization --> what leads school to "backward-ization": tribal war Irony Irony