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"This devoted band called itself the Eldorado Exploring Expedition, and I believe they were sworn to secrecy. Their talk, however, was the talk of sordid buccaneers: it was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage; there was not an atom of foresight or of serious intention in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world. To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe." (1.72)
The Eldorado Exploring Expedition is a really neutral name for a really evil company. Their sole intention is to rob and rape the earth of its treasures for profit, and they don't even bother pretending to have a moral justification. At least they're honest?
"A narrow and deserted street in deep shadow, high houses, innumerable windows with venetian blinds, a dead silence, grass sprouting right and left, immense double doors standing ponderously ajar. I slipped through one of these cracks, went up a swept and ungarnished staircase, as arid as a desert, and opened the first door I came to." (1.23)
Well, this is a rather unflattering view of civilization: the Company's Brussels office is narrow, filthy, and tense. In other words, just like our grad school apartment.
"I had a cup of tea—the last decent cup of tea for many days—and in a room that most soothingly looked just as you would expect a lady's drawing-room to look, we had a long quiet chat by the fireside." (1.27)
Ah, England: good food, lots of doilies on the chairs, and "chatting" by the fireside. And Marlow wants to give up all this to go sail up a river in a jungle filled with hungry cannibals? No thanks. We'd miss our Hulu subscription too much.