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"We were wanderers on a prehistoric earth, on an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet. We could have fancied ourselves the first of men taking possession of an accursed inheritance, to be subdued at the cost of profound anguish and of excessive toil." (2.7)
Marlow and his crew feel as if they have stepped into a deep past; he believes they are the first men ever to walk this savage planet. Marlow feels as if he is charged with the duty to tame this wild earth at the cost of personal turmoil. Such is the power of the interior.
"We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember because we were travelling in the night of first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign – and no memories." (2.7)
The men are completely devoid of any understanding of their surroundings; even though they are traversing the prehistoric past, they cannot access their own pasts, their own memories.
"I don't think a single one of them had any clear idea of time, as we at the end of countless ages have. They still belonged to the beginnings of time […]." (2.14)
Marlow observes that the native Africans’ concept of time is far different from the linear European one. However, he is arrogant about it and assumes that they have no concept of time whatsoever, never entertaining the thought that theirs might simply be different.