What does the phrase "that was the worst of it—the suspicion of their not being inhuman" mean?

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In Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, the character Marlow recounts his transformational experience in the African jungle, discovering, to his shock, that he and his companions have more in common with those living in the jungle than he once suspected. His discomfort with this realization is indicated by the quote, “that was the worst of it—this suspicion of their not being inhuman.”

As the crew “penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness,” Marlow felt as though they were withdrawing further and further from modern civilization:

We were wanderers on prehistoric earth, on an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet. We could have fancied ourselves the first of men taking possession of an accursed inheritance, to be subdued at the cost of profound anguish and of...

(The entire section contains 417 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 12, 2019