This chapter introduces Decoud, the central figure in Part Two and arguably the main character of the novel. Allegorically it is made clear right away that Decoud represents skepticism, the rejection of all ideals, or to be more precise, the ideal of non-ideals. In Decoud the central tension of Nostromo receives its strongest and most personal treatment: knowing that ideals are illusory and dangerous constructs, Decoud is nevertheless attracted to them by the barren nihilism of the alternative. His relationship with Antonia, which dates from their childhood in the manner of an eternal question, pits skepticism against idealism in a dynamic that will draw the novel's central themes closest to the surface.