An analysis of the short story “An Outpost of Progress” by Joseph Conrad shows that the narrative has a chronological structure following the changes in Kayerts and Carlier, who oversee an African trading station.
The main characters are Kayerts and Carlier – two European men who work as agents at a remote African trading station. Another important character is Makola, an African man under their command. The story follows Kayerts and Carlier from the moment they arrive there by steamship to their deaths several months later.
The story’s physical setting is the African trading station, which deals with ivory trading. The social setting looks at racial differences between Europeans and African natives.
The events are told by a third-person narrator, who is outside the story and follows the characters and their actions. The narrator often inserts personal comments in the story.
The language is typical for the Victorian Era. Irony is often used in the story and helps the author construct a critique of British colonialism.
A full analysis of the short story can be found in the following pages.