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There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. (2.5)
Sunlight, often a symbol of truth or a blessing from God, is stripped of such meaning here. In the wilderness, there is "no joy" in its brilliance or heat. Here, it is as oppressive as the rest of the environment.
"It was unearthly, and the men were - No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it - this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity - like yours - the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you - you so remote from the night of first ages - could comprehend." (2.8)
Marlow questions the very essence of humanity. He is beginning to consider the wild screaming Africans to be human. This requires him to reformulate what falls in the boundaries of humanness. What he once considered savage he now begins to accept as a manifestation of humanness, what he considers good and decent.
"Let the fool gape and shudder - the man knows, and can look on without a wink. But he must at least be as much of a man as these on the shore. He must meet that truth with his own true stuff - with his own inborn strength. Principles won't do. Acquisitions, clothes, pretty rags - rags that would fly off at the first good shake. No; you want a deliberate belief." (2.8)
Marlow does away with principles – those foundations of goodness that we so adore – because he knows they won’t survive in the wilderness. Instead, he finds strength in simple, unwavering beliefs.