Comparative Essay

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St. Anne SchoolLiterature

Comparative analysis: “Heart of Darkness” & “Apocalypse Now”

Student: Mora Vandenbroele

Teacher: Azucena Estigarribia

Year: 11th “A”

“Heart of Darkness” vs. “Apocalypse Now”

It is very interesting how humans are so intrigued about the evilness in the world, and the dedication of some men to compare Hell with the Earthly horror. Joseph Conrad, a genius writer, took his time to show this with his masterpiece “Heart of Darkness” that was later on an amazing inspiration for the director Francis Ford Coppola, that based his film on Conrad’s novel. Different parallels can be drawn when comparing and contrasting these two works. These differences and similarities can be seen in themes, characters, events and other small snippets of information including anything from quoted lines to strange actions of the main characters.

To start with, is important the set in context regarding the setting of both stories. “Heart of Darkness” takes place in the Belgian colony in Congo, in the heart of Africa. This colony was set in order to extract ivory from animals such as elephants or rhinoceros. But there was another important aim: carrying the light of European civilization, “civilized the savage”.

On the other hand, “Apocalypse Now” is set during the Vietnam War, in Nung River in Cambodia. United States became involved in the conflict because its policymakers feared the spread of communism. China and much of Eastern Europe were already under communist control, and U.S. leaders felt they could not “lose” Southeast Asia as well. The United States helped install an anticommunist prime minister, Ngo Dinh Diem, in South Vietnam.

This setting in context and place lead is to find the main concepts behind both stories. As regards Conrad’s work, the line of the events depicts the truth of senses of colonialism and imperialism (that are the policies of...
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