Christianity and Cultural Colonialism in Chinua Achebe’s” Dead Men’s Path

Purcell, W. F. (2005). In the Beginning: Christianity and Cultural Colonialism in Chinua Achebe’s” Dead Men’s Path.” Christian Literature Research, (22), 165-154.

The article examines “Dead Men’s Path by Chinua Achebe” by outlining how two sets of values clash. The story was authored to detail the different values and beliefs among the traditional Nigerians and the modern culture defined by the colonial beliefs and customs. According to Purcell (2005), the story is not all about culture clashes but is based on missionary Christianity as a form of cultural colonialism. Using the character Obi, Chinua demonstrates the varied beliefs between two cultures; tradition and modern indicating that even the name was given to Obi – Michael is an adoption from the modern culture which is colonial. As the article indicates, Obi is a Christian and has little consideration of the community’s cultural beliefs which the author of “Dead Men’s Path” demonstrates as belittling the tradition of Nigeria.

In Purcell’s article, the protagonist, Obi is an educated, visionary idealist with an unmatched passion for modern techniques. The article indicates that the protagonist portrays a Christian culture which rebukes the traditional beliefs such as those presented by the traditional priest and related to the path in the school. The examination by Purcell provides a fascinating analysis of traditional and Christian beliefs and how these two cultures clash. Additionally, the article outlined mission Christianity as a form of cultural colonialism which seeks to erode the traditional beliefs of the community. In the author’s own views, Obi is an agent of cultural colonialism and intends to instil modern beliefs while suppressing the traditional beliefs which according to him are inferior and baseless.

Reference

Purcell, W. F. (2005). In the Beginning: Christianity and Cultural Colonialism in Chinua Achebe’s” Dead Men’s Path”. Christian Literature Research, (22), 165-154.

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