Analysis of the protagonist's character flaw or error in judgment that causes his downfall in the story "Dead men's path" written by Chinua Achebe.

Essay by mrsaulongUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2003

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Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian novelist and poet, whose works explore the impact of European culture on African society. He was the first to truly develop an African style of writing. Before him, the books written on Africa were stereotypical reflections of a European view. One of his works is "Dead men's path" which is about a headmaster of Ndume Central School. The school is stationed in the village of Ani, a village full of ancient superstitions and beliefs. In the story, the headmaster of the school closed a path used by the villagers because it went through his compound. In this essay I will discuss the protagonist's character flaw or error in judgment that causes his downfall in the story.

The first mistake the headmaster made is choosing to run his school by modern way and teach the children of Ani not to believe in the superstitions of their ancestors.

He tries to make the school a better place. He does not know that people's beliefs are not easily changed. It's hard to change old beliefs and giving some kind of substitute is also not acceptable. He is young, energetic, enthusiastic, outspoken, motivated, confident, yet unrealistic and inexperienced. He believes in many wonderful ideas, but he has not had a lot of experience with people to guide him in his work. He has modern ideas, but the villagers have old-fashioned traditional ideas. This is a key cause of the headmaster's problems. Enthusiasm is evidently the most important factor in many successes, but misguided zeal can make things much worse.

His next mistake is his selfishness and arrogance. He does not seem to care much about the villager's feelings. He wants everything his way and rather to eradicate such beliefs that the villagers are carrying. He is arrogant...