7m 28.05.12 Was Okonkwo a hero or a fool? The novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe tells the story of a traditional clan in Africa. The main character, Okonkwo, is of great significance, due to his personality and character traits. It is important to note that he can act like a hero on the one hand, nevertheless it is still possible to regard him as a fool due to his impetuous acts. Some of the most important aspects concerning Okonkwo, are his strong character, the way he treats his clansmen, especially women and children, his rashness…
Dead Men's Path – Chinua Achebe
The story „Dead Men's Path“, written by Chinua Achebe is about a native's decision after getting a new job as a headmaster in a missionary school. It takes place in Nigeria in lain1949. The man named Michael Obi has been colonized and influenced by western people in the past, so that he has „wonderful ideas“ (p.109 l.6) for an efficient and effective school system and wants to put them into practise.
Therefore he decided to close little path on the school compound, along which, as the village people think, the souls of dead and unborn people are walking. But in the end those natives punish him by destroying the fence and its surroundings which Michael usually wanted to use to impress the white supervisor.
I suggest that even in this case, the fundamental contrast between modernization and tradition, a coexisting would have worked better for all the involved people instead of showing ignorance.
First of all you have to recognize that the problems dealt with in the sotry are the typical problems in time of colonialism: The natives' religious beliefs have to compete against the colonizer's rationalism. On the one side we have Michael Obi standing for the western mindset while the priest tries to defend the native's traditions.
Moreover Michael has an additional base problem: One the one hand he's very excited and enthusiastic to have that new job in the leading position of a missionary school. On the other hand the reason for this is rather based in his interest of making career instead of his wish to help the natives (p.110 l.3 „We shall make a good job .....[read full text]