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"But the wilderness had found him (Kurtz) out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude - and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating." (3.5)
The distinction between the wilderness and evil has collapsed. The wilderness is a live, evil thing. It uses men’s faults against them, exploiting them and driving the men mad. This also speaks to man’s irresistible fascination with evil.
"His [Kurtz’s] ascendancy was extraordinary. The camps of these people surrounded the place, and the chiefs came every day to see him. They would crawl. ‘[…] I don't want to know anything of the ceremonies used when approaching Mr. Kurtz,' I shouted. Curious, this feeling that came over me that such details would be more intolerable than those heads drying on the stakes under Mr. Kurtz's windows. After all, that was only a savage sight, while I seemed at one bound to have been transported into some lightless region of subtle horrors, where pure, uncomplicated savagery was a positive relief, being something that had a right to exist – obviously - in the sunshine." (3.6)
Marlow fears that, if he were to learn about Kurtz’s control over the Africans, it would "transport" him "into some lightless region of subtle horrors, where pure uncomplicated savagery was a positive relief." Marlow is still clinging to his morals, if only by a thread. He is no longer horrified at the thought of living in a world where evil can exist openly. He is, however, scared by the thought of people (like the native Africans) openly worshipping evil – as symbolized by Kurtz.
[The manager]: "'He [Kurtz] is very low, very low,' he said. He considered it necessary to sigh, but neglected to be consistently sorrowful. 'We have done all we could for him - haven't we? But there is no disguising the fact, Mr. Kurtz has done more harm than good to the Company. He did not see the time was not ripe for vigorous action. Cautiously, cautiously - that's my principle. We must be cautious yet. The district is closed to us for a time. Deplorable! Upon the whole, the trade will suffer. I don't deny there is a remarkable quantity of ivory — mostly fossil. We must save it, at all events - but look how precarious the position is - and why? Because the method is unsound.'" (3.19)
The manager is depraved in a multitude of ways. First, he misrepresents Kurtz’s condition and twists his words. Because he knows he is not as competent as Kurtz, he tries to attack Kurtz’s "method" by calling it "unsound." Above all, his words are as meaningless as before and this is the turning point for Marlow. The manager is so despicable that Marlow cannot remain on his side.