The manager proves an enemy to Marlow simply because of his intentions to oust Kurtz, a man with whom Marlow has begun to sympathize. Like many of his peers, the manager is driven by greed and ambition to move up the ladder of rank within the Company. He irks Marlow with his endless jabbering and, although Marlow never explicitly accuses him, he suspects that the manager had everything to do with the "accident" that his steamboat suffered. The manager fears Kurtz as a threat to his position and will stop at nothing to remove him, as seen by his unnatural immunity to disease. In another, subtler way, the manager proves disturbing to us readers since he is immersed in emptiness imagery. The idea of him being hollow strikes us, in sharp contrast to Marlow’s always-busy mind.
Like the manager, the brickmaker wants only to climb up the corporate ladder. However, he seems even more shady than the manager since he has a lower rank and is willing to resort to even lower tactics to get what he wants. It is implied that he uses his silver tongue to weasel his way into the trust of his victims – Company members with powerful connections. Marlow, a somewhat naïve man, does not realize quite what the brickmaker wants from him with all his useless talking. But Marlow soon finds out that the man intends to get into the good graces of Marlow’s powerful aunt. Wrapped in devil imagery, the brickmaker indeed exudes an aura of sinister trickery.