Description of this motif: "Heathens" means irreligious, uncivilized, or unenlightened people, or it may refer to people, who just not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. However, in this context the motif is only registered, when the text refers to people of other religions as heathens, or, as it is the case in "The Marsh King''s Daughter", when the foreign gods are referred to as false gods.
Never before had he been in such low and vulgar company! "One would think that the country had lapsed back into barbarism," he told himself. "This is the most dreadful moment of my life."