Heart Of Darkness, Hollow Men, And Apocalypse Now

1407 words - 6 pages

Similarities between Heart of Darkness, Hollow Men, and Apocalypse Now

    In today's literary world there are many different texts that have interlocking literary meaning through their references to one another and to other works. I am going to compare and draw similarities between T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. These three sources have many different references to one another in different ways.

In T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men, he begins the poem with the title and underneath the title he uses the famous line "Mistah Kurtz- he dead" from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. This famous line is said by one of the servants about Mr. Kurtz who dies and all of the natives were shocked by his death. Eliot uses this line at the beginning of the poem because he is drawing a comparison between the hollow men and Kurtz. He does this because Kurtz's idea of the civilization that he wanted to create didnÕt turn out the way he wanted it to in the end. Kurtz's ideas lead to his downfall in the movie Apocalypse Now. He is also considered as being hollow himself because of his ideas and inability to face reality. This is similar to the hollow men because they don't know what they will turn out to be. They have an idea of what they want to be but they know that will never happen. The hollow men really have no choice what they will be; they just let it happen. These hollow men are waiting to go to "death's dream kingdom", but they donÕt know if they will ever get there. Eliot talks about these hollow men and these men can be compared to the people who are following Kurtz. They are all hollow people because they are following this radical figure and do not have ideals of their own.

In the movie Apocalypse Now Coppola incorporates the character Mr. Kurtz. Coppola gets the character of Kurtz from Conrad's Heart of Darkness. In Heart of Darkness Kurtz is this European man who leaves Europe with an empty idealism which collapsed under the force of the savage and barbaric darkness. He visits the Congo and is transformed into this man of the jungle. The character of Kurtz is similar in Apocalypse Now; he is a highly decorated general in the vietnam war and Kurtz goes into the jungle leading him to turn into a man of the jungle. Mr. Kurtz one day loses it and goes crazy. He goes off into the jungles of Vietnam and starts terrorizing villages with his crazy actions and beliefs. In Coppola's Apocalypse Now there is a scene where Mr. Kurtz is reading T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men. Coppola has Kurtz's character read this poem because it is basically saying that his society of the jungle is not turning out the way he wanted it to. Shortly after he reads the poem, Kurtz asks Captain Willard to kill him because of the failure of his society. Kurtz reads the opening stanza of Eliot's poem. In this stanza it is talking about the hollow men and how they are stuffed with straw. Coppola uses...

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