check out our:
"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.
"After this I got embraced, told to wear flannel, be sure to write often, and so on - and I left." (1.29)
Civilization seems to have a lot to do with trivialities like wearing flannel or writing letters. The wilderness has other ideas—more primal ideas, like impaling heads on sticks. Awesome.