Short Tales of Joseph Conrad

Trapped in Exile: A Comparison between Joseph Conrad’s “Amy Foster” and “An Outpost of Progress” College

Born in 19th century Poland, Joseph Conrad experienced a life out of the ordinary as a world traveller. Attracted by reading, maps and the dream of becoming a sailor, Conrad led a multi-skilled life, travelled the world and wrote masterpieces that only a man with such a background could compose. Only once one understands the full and active life of Joseph Conrad, then short stories as “Amy Foster” and “An Outpost of Progress” can be appreciated in their entirety. The latter have the particularity of being established in a foreign setting and their respective protagonists are launched in an unknown environment, a context that will sound familiar to most travellers.

Indeed, in “Amy Foster”, Yanko who comes from Eastern Europe gets shipwrecked in England; as in “An Outpost of Progress”, Carlier and Kayerts, both firmly rooted in Western Europe, find themselves somewhere in Congo. At first, these two destinations do not seem to have anything in common. However, what bonds the central figures of these two tales is that all of them are thrown in a new environment and do not have the choice but confront the unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is firstly to show the main divergences between the two stories and bring them...

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