Heart of Darkness & Apocalypse Now

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2013 Apocalypse Now & Heart of Darkness Appropriation Essay Marlow and Willard both journey into the “interior.” What they find and what they experience reflects the concerns of their respective composers.

Compare how Joseph Conrad and Francis Ford Coppola use Marlow and Willard to voice their concerns and critique their respective contexts. In your response, ensure that you refer to specific scenes from both texts and consider the techniques used. Include accurate and appropriate quotes. Length 1000-1200 Words. -------------------------------------------------

As Julia Kristeva first mentioned in her essay ‘The Bounded Text,” appropriations and adaptations “invoke and rework other texts in a rich and ever-involving cultural mosaic.” Francis Ford Coppola has crafted his film Apocalypse Now to adapt the main values and attitudes as Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness. Whilst the themes of imperialism and human evil are evident in both texts, Apocalypse Now further builds upon these themes through the manipulation of the concepts of the journey to comment on more relevant issues in society and appeal to a more contemporary audience. Both authors use the epic journey to display the journey of self-discovery that both protagonists undertake. Through an analysis of the contexts, mediums and techniques, as well as Sigmund Freud’s model of the human psyche, one is able to understand mankind’s intrinsic evil and the hypocrisy of imperialism as displayed by both Conrad and Coppola.

Imperialism throughout the African continent in the early 19th Century, labelled the Scramble for Africa, sought to amplify white man’s omnipotence by supposedly bringing civilisation to the indigenous countries of Africa. Heart of Darkness, a fictionalized account of Joseph Conrad’s personal experiences as the captain of a steamboat in the Congo in 1890, was one of the first novellas to criticize white supremacy, and further exhibit the hypocrisy of imperialism and the...
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