In "Dead Men's Path," how does Michael Obi's attitude towards both tradition and "modern ways" affect his ability to make a fair and reasonable compromise?

1 Answer

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The problem with Michael Obi is that he is so focused on his assignment of bringing the school into the modern world that he is completely blind to the very real importance of traditional tribal ways and beliefs on those he needs to work with in order to be successful. As a result, when conflict quickly develops between himself and the villagers over the sacred path that acts as a link between the village of the living and the shrine where the dead are commemorated, he shows a complete inability to compromise based on his faith in modern ways and his condescending attitude towards the "primitive" (as he sees them) beliefs of the villagers.

This explains his stubborn rejection of the village priest's pleas to try and come to some sort of arragnement with the words "dead men do not require paths." His mindset means that he and his dreams of revolutionising the school are doomed before he even starts, and his eventual dismissal is the obvious and inevitable ending to this story.