Heart of Darkness

The company accountant - What's striking about his appearance and behavior? Do we detect any irony in Marlow's description of this personage?

Heart of Darkness

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Marlow is impressed by the accountant's impeccable neatness in such an inhospitable world,

"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."

There is a sense of irony however as Marlow learns that his neatness is the result or rather at the expense of "training" his slave/washerwoman to do his laundry. His clothes become a symbol of barbarity that merely looks like civility.