JOYCE CAROL OATES Born on June 16, 1938, in Lockport, New York, Joyce Carol Oates spent her childhood on her parents’ farm. Lockport, a small rural town, had struggled economically since the Great Depression, but it provided Oates with a wholesome environment in which to grow up.
Connie - The fifteen-year-old protagonist of the story. Connie is in the midst of an adolescent rebellion. She argues with her mother and sister, June, and neglects family life in favor of scoping out boys at the local restaurant. She tries to appear older and wiser than she is, and her head is filled with daydreams and popular music that feed her ideas of romance and love. Arnold Friend - A dangerous figure who comes to Connie’s house and threatens her. Ellie - A friend of Arnold’s. When Arnold drives up to Connie’s house, Ellie stays in the car, listening to music and watching while Arnold talks menacingly to Connie.
June - Connie’s older sister. June is nearly the opposite of Connie. Twenty-four years old, overweight, and still living at home, she is a placid, dutiful daughter. She obeys her parents and does chores without complaining. Connie’s Mother - A near-constant source of frustration for Connie. Connie and her mother bicker constantly and disagree about almost everything. Connie’s mother envies Connie’s youth and beauty, which she herself has lost.
The Search for IndependenceConnie’s conflicts with her family and efforts to make herself sexually attractive are part of her search for independence. As a teenager, she is dependent on the adults in her life for care and discipline as well as for enabling her social life.
Fantasy versus Reality Although Connie works hard to present the appearance of being a mature woman who isexperienced with men, her encounter with Arnold reveals that this is only a performance. She has created an attractive adult persona through herclothing, hairstyle, and general behavior and gets the attention she desires from boys.
Joseph Conrad( December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish author who wrote in English after settling in England. He was granted British Nationality in 1886, but always considered himself a Pole.
Kayerts Carlier Makola - clerk, assistant, bookkeeper ofKayerts and Carlier (calls himself Henry Price) Gobila (father Gobila) Gobilas people Natives (involved in ivory deal)
The story can also be read at a symbolic level. It focuses on the colonial situation in Africa towards the end of the nineteenth century and challenges readers to examinethe ethical questions raised by the policy of colonialism. From the very beginning it becomes clear that the title Outpost ofProgress is ironic, for the two white men are lazy and incompetent.
The theme of incompetence,destructiveness and cruelty of colonialismis developed as a story of progresses. The gradual physical and moral deterioration of the two colonial administrators,leading to their death, can be interpreted as a reflection of the general state of colonialism.