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"I had heard Mr. Kurtz was in there. I had heard enough about it, too—God knows! Yet somehow it didn't bring any image with it - no more than if I had been told an angel or a fiend was in there. I believed it in the same way one of you might believe there are inhabitants in the planet Mars." (1.61)
Kurtz's name has literally no associations for Marlow—not even your standard Martian face. Does that mean he has no expectations about Kurtz's identity, either?
"I had no difficulty in finding the Company's offices. It was the biggest thing in the town, and everybody I met was full of it. They were going to run an over-sea empire, and make no end of coin by trade." (1.22)
Let's see: building an overseas empire on the backs of oppressed native Africans, and making a giant profit by exploiting the African Interior. There's no way this can end badly, right?
"When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an unexpected elegance of get-up that in the first moment I took him for a sort of vision. I saw a high starched collar, white cuffs, a light alpaca jacket, snowy trousers, a clean necktie, and varnished boots. No hat. Hair parted, brushed, oiled, under a green-lined parasol held in a big white hand. He was amazing, and had a penholder behind his ear." (1.42)
We were with all this right up until the green-lined parasol. (Seriously? A parasol?) The accountant's fancy clothes let him show off his position of power: no need to get his hand dirty pushing numbers around on an Excel spreadsheet, after all. You can wear your very best clothes for that.