Homework Help

What groups are meant by these lines from "Outpost of Progress"? "And...

user profile pic

sweetkaran | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 25, 2008 at 8:22 PM via web

dislike -1 like

What groups are meant by these lines from "Outpost of Progress"?

"And now, released from the fostering care of men with pens behind the ears, or of men with gold lace on the sleeves"

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 29, 2008 at 7:36 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Conrad is referencing some stereotypes of Western society in this line.  The "men with pens behind the ears" alludes to both intellectuals, who spend their life studying and believe, often mistakenly, that they know the human condition and its problems; as well as romantics, the poets who sympathetically connect with the emotions of humanity and often arrogantly assume that they know what others are experiencing.

The "men with gold lace" are the pursuers of materialism and wealth, the imperialistic type, who ignore the human condition and human frailty in their monomaniacal and seflish pursuit of success.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes