In Chinua Achebe's "Dead Men's Path," why is Michael Obi given the position of school headmaster?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Michael Obi is given the position of school headmaster because the Mission authorities believe that he can revolutionize the school. Because of Michael's training and his enthusiasm for progressive education, the authorities feel that Michael will be able to modernize the education program at the school.

Michael is also outspoken in his condemnation of what he considers the backward and superstitious culture at the school. He believes that he will be able to institute meaningful changes when he is headmaster.

So, when he gets to the school, Michael decides to raise the education standards and to call for a complete renovation of the school grounds. He commissions bright, beautiful flower gardens to be grown in the school compound. By doing this, he hopes to highlight the new changes taking place at the school. In his zeal, Michael neglects to take the sensibilities of the villagers into consideration, and the final results of his experimentation are extremely disappointing to him.

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