Structure

The short story “An Outpost of Progress” by Joseph Conrad has a chronological structure and follows the main characters over a few months. 

The beginning introduces the main characters and the context – two European men, along with a native, supervise a trading station somewhere in Africa: 

There were two white men in charge of the trading station. Kayerts, the chief, was short and fat; Carlier, the assistant, was tall, with a large head and a very broad trunk perched upon a long pair of thin legs. The third man on the staff was a Sierra Leone nigger, who maintained that his name was James Price.

A foreshadowing element hints at Kayerts’ and Carlier’s tragic ending:

‘Look at those two imbeciles. (…) They won’t know how to begin. The two most useless men I ever saw. I always thought the station on this river useless, and they just fit the station!’ (…) ‘At any rate, I am rid of them for six months,’ retorted the directo...

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