57 pages 1 hour read

Joseph Conrad

An Outpost Of Progress

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1897

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Essay Topics


Conrad’s story is a period piece in that it comments on events and issues of its day. The age of colonialism and imperial expansion is over. Or is it? In what ways is Conrad’s look at the charade of civilization and the irony of morality still timely?


Conrad’s is a philosophical story that poses big questions. How would you answer this using the character of Kayerts: Are people moral because of society or is society moral because of people? Is morality a product of society or does morality, intrinsic to who you are, shape a society? Is morality part of who we are or is morality learned?


Kayerts shoots Carlier over a dispute involving a spoonful of sugar. Would it be the same crime if Kayerts shot Carlier in, say, Brussels or London rather than in the jungle? What is the relationship between Kayerts’s descent into the animal and his exposure to the jungle?

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