What techniques does Achebe use to characterize Michael Obi in "Dead Men's Path"? How does this characterization imply the ultimate failure of Obi's goals?

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The author uses direct and indirect characterization to reveal Michael Obi's character to us.

Direct characterization:

He had had sound secondary school education which designated him a "pivotal teacher" in the official records and set him apart from the other headmasters in the mission field. He was outspoken in his condemnation of the narrow views of these older and often less­-educated ones.

Here, Achebe tells us directly what Michael Obi is like. He is outspoken and harbors a progressive worldview regarding education. Michael is also well-educated and unafraid to criticize old traditions.

He was stoop­-shouldered and looked frail. But he sometimes surprised people with sudden bursts of physical energy. In his pre­sent posture, however, all his bodily strength seemed to have retired behind his deep­-set eyes, giving them an extraordinary power of penetration. He was only twenty­-six, but looked thirty or more. On the whole, he was not unhand­some.

Here, Achebe directly tells us what...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 663 words.)

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