Character Analysis The Manager


As Kurtz (in some sense) embodies Europe, the Manager embodies the Company that he represents in the Congo. The Manager's primary concern is preserving his position within the Company, which he incorrectly assumes Kurtz wishes to steal from him. A scheming liar, the Manager sabotages Marlow's steamboat to prevent supplies from reaching Kurtz at the Inner Station. Neither Marlow nor Kurtz believe his shows of concern for Kurtz's health: When he tells Kurtz that he has come to save him, Kurtz replies, "Save the ivory, you mean," and after Kurtz dies, Marlow feels the Manager's eyes on him as he leaves Kurtz's room, eager to learn of his rival agent's death. According to Marlow, the Manager "inspires uneasiness" and tries to use this ability to gain information about Kurtz and his activities from Marlow. A despicable man, the Manager has the power to make the Company a reputable operation, but refuses to do so for fear that this would impede the flow of ivory that comes out of Africa.