How are Micheal Obi and the priest different in "Dead Man's Path"?   

How are Micheal Obi and the priest different in "Dead Man's Path"? 

 

Expert Answers
gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Michael Obi and the priest from the village near the school are similar in that both want what is best for the village and the people in it. They differ in what they believe is best for the village and how they approach changing their community.

Michael Obi represents contemporary culture. He is, as Achebe says, "young and enthusiastic." He wants to change the school, which has always been "unprogressive." Unsurprisingly, Michael believes in progress, and in progressive changes. He wants things to be modern. He thinks that means things should be rational. This means there should be explicit reasons for things, private property should be respected, and the superstitions of the past (like the path walked by the dead) should be rooted out and abandoned.

The priest represents continuity, history, and community. He wants the people of the village to be able to do what they have always done. Of the two, the priest shows more respect for others and their beliefs.