For what different reasons do the cannibal crewmen and the pilgrims object to Marlow's disposal of the dead helmsman? 

For what different reasons do the cannibal crewmen and the pilgrims object to Marlow's disposal of the dead helmsman?

 

Expert Answers
edcon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Marlow disposes of the body of the helmsman who has been killed by a spear thrown from natives on the shore by dumping it overboard into the Congo River.  

The cannibal crewmen are hungry, and though they are stoic, they are unhappy that the pilgrims have disposed of the rotting cache of hippopotamus meat they had been carrying. Marlow (and likely, the pilgrims, as well) does not want to see them consume the dead helmsman because their cannibalism is abhorrent to him.

The pilgrims, as Westerners, are unhappy that the helmsman will not be given a funeral service or (in their eyes) a decent burial. 

It is up to Marlow to make a decision; his decision to dump the body into the river pleases no one, but it does settle the matter.