Dead Men's Path: Obi Essay

406 WordsJan 31, 20122 Pages
Obi’s Selfishness In Dead Men’s Path, a story is told about a twenty seven year old man, named Obi, who was appointed to become the new headmaster of Ndume Central School. He gladly took up the role, hoping to improve the always-unprogressive school. He, along with his wife, planned on things such as creating gardens to beautify the appearance of the school, and by trying to implement “modern methods” to better it. Obi and his wife’s efforts seem sincere, but their true motives for reforming the school, however, are for their own selfish reasons to receive praise. Moreover, because of their selfishness, they are rude and disregard the traditions and cultures of the villagers around the school. Hearing of her husband’s promotion, Obi’s wife, instead of thinking more about the improvement and good she and her husband can do for the school, is more concerned over how popular and above she would become compared to the other wives. “She began to see herself already as the admired wife of the young headmaster, the queen of the school” (176). When she is described to have “…become completely infected by his passion for…his denigration of ‘these old and superannuated people in the teaching field who would be better employed as traders in the Onitsha market” (176), this proves Obi’s rude personality and disregard for the villagers. Instead of learning from the wisdom that these “old people” may give him, he looks down on them because he believes his knowledge is far beyond theirs. And instead of respecting the villager’s tradition of keeping the ancestral footpath, he brushes off the village priest by saying “…Our duty is to teach your children to laugh at such ideas” (177). His concern is not on keeping the traditions of those he teaches, but on the mere appearance of the path that he would be judged on by the inspector. Obi and his wife’s decision for accepting the

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