Apocalypse Now As An Interpretation Of Heart Of Darkness

1253 words - 5 pages

Apocalypse Now as an Interpretation of Heart of Darkness The novella written by Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, is an intense story of the travel through the human psyche and one's own personal journey. The immensely deep perceptions found in this novella have been comprised into a movie called Apocalypse Now written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. In reviewing both of these masterpieces we can see many underlying similarities between situations, characters, and themes despite the differences in the characters ultimate missions, settings and time periods. In basing his story of Joseph Conrad's ideas Coppola sets the scene of his movie during the time of the Vietnam War. We see the illustration of the war and ultimately, the confusion of what the war was really fought over. "The B*llsh*t piled up so fast in Vietnam you needeed wings to stay above it." (Captain Willard) But this film is about the human mind and the depths that it can reach not exactly the war that was taking place. Vietnam is merely a backdrop to punctuate the psychological message that Coppola is trying to send out, which was the inspired theme taken from Heart of Darkness. In which Joseph Conrad clearly makes an impact visualizing to his readers how the mind is capable of many things, and is able to be manipulated an twisted when pushed, for example, searching for ways of survival.In Joseph Conrad's story the theme takes place in the African Congo while his characters are traveling up the Thames River in pursuit of Kurtz. In the business of ivory sales and trade, a worker and hunter named Kurtz has broken away to settle in a native uncivilized area of the Congo, excessively hunting for ivory and thus becoming consumed by the land and unethical in his ways by exploiting the tribal people. He becomes the god like leader of this tribe. These two situations, the pursuit of Kurtz through Vietnam and up the Thames River, can easily be compared and related. In Coppola's version we have an estranged captain Kurtz consumed by his intuition, the battles of war and depths of his mind. He has strayed from the army into the native lands of Cambodia, alienated by the fact that he is being charged for murder of Vietnamese double agents when he felt like he was acting appropriately as soldier. Acting as a leader in war, since the murders of the four Vietnamese leaders ceased the attack of the enemy of his section. Both characters of Kurtz are standing on the brink of insanity due to their surroundings, infatuations, goals and means of leadership and survival.Kurtz is the most powerful figure in both stories although he does not even appear until the end in either story, and we can clearly see the relationship between the characters of Kurtz in these two pieces. We can also see the parallel between Marlow and Willard, Marlow , from Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and Willard, from Coppola's Apocalypse Now and there relationship with Kurtz.As high Army generals and the...

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