Heart of Darkness

Marlow's meaning in section 5

What does Marlow mean and what is his tone when he says, "Perhaps you will think it passing strange this regret for a savage who was no more account than a grain of sand in a black Sahara" in section 5

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Marlow is speaking about his helmsman. He laments the death of his helmsman even though he was merely a "savage". Natives were disposable to Europeans but Marlow differed from many of his countrymen. Marlow saw the often suffering natives as suffering humanity at the mercy of cruel imperial forces.