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The idea of heritage and tradition in the modern world has become an idea of importance to both the indigenous peoples and the descendants of the European colonists who attempted to Westernize the lands they discovered and the people in them. This idea has taken numerous forms in recent years and not-so-recent years. One form it has been examined in is the literary short story. Thomas King’s “One Good Story, That One” and Chinua Achebe’s “Dead Men’s Path” use characters and conflict to make a statement about the loss of tradition and heritage in order to demonstrate the effect of colonialism on indigenous people and their culture.
The representatives of colonialism in these stories are white men in positions of superiority. In King’s story, they take the role of anthropologists, well-educated and well-dressed, while in Achebe’s story, the white man is a supervisor in charge of overseeing everything the black main character does. The presence of these men, all of European descent, is a metaphor for the manner in which the original colonist behaved. The supervisor’s position of author…