Who visits the school in "Dead Men's Path"?

Quick answer:

Two people visit the school in "Dead Men's Path." The first is the village priest, who is dismayed when Mr. Obi blocks a spiritually significant footpath that crosses school grounds. Later, the Government of Education Officer visits the school for an inspection, which doesn't go well.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Ndume Central School is visited by two different people. The first visitor is the village priest. Dismayed when the villagers' ancestral footpath is blocked at each end near the school grounds, Ani requests that the path be reopened. When Mr. Obi refuses, the old man attempts to explain the deep importance of this path; the villagers believe that the dead depart using this path, that their ancestors use it to visit them, and that babies travel the path before they are born.

Mr. Obi scoffs at the beliefs of the priest, telling him that he school exists primarily to dispel such ridiculous ideas. He refuses to open up the path and suggests that the ancestors simply go around the school premises. The old priest leaves without further comment.

The second visitor arrives at the end of the story. While he is only briefly mentioned, his role is significant. He is a Government of Education Officer whose purpose is to inspect the school. Mr. Obi had decided to block the ancestral footpath specifically to impress the inspector, not wanting the man to believe that the villagers might want to use the school for some "pagan ritual." When the inspector arrives, he is horrified by the state of the school, which has been destroyed following Mr. Obi's refusal to cooperate with the priest. He comments that the "misguided zeal" of the new headmaster has poorly impacted the relations between the school and the village.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial