Heart of Darkness Parallels

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Heart of Darkness V Apocalypse Now

The fictional novel Heart of Darkness by author Joseph Conrad is a book written in first person. The setting of the novel is in the Congo Jungle, with most of the book occurring on the Congo River. The novel describes Marlow’s story and his many strange encounters while traveling up the Congo River. Marlow is on a mission to retrieve the very successful ivory merchant Kurtz, who has been separated from his company. Heart of Darkness deals with themes of colonialism, racism, and savagery. While also exploring the potential darkness that can be seen in the heart of man.

Apocalypse Now is a movie directed by Francis Coppola came out in 1979. It is set at the height of the Vietnam War. U.S. Army Captain Willard is sent on a top secret mission into the jungles of Cambodia. His mission is to seek out and destroy Colonel Kurtz, who is believed to have gone completely insane.

The novel Heart of Darkness and the movie Apocalypse Now have many parallels. Both works follow the same story line but presented in completely different contexts. Even though Apocalypse Now is based upon the book, there are still many differences in themes, characters, and events. The largest of these differences is the setting and time of the two works.

While watching Apocalypse Now the viewer is able to observe many scenes that are similar with the novel Heart of Darkness. One of the most apparent of these scenes is when the natives attack the men on the boats. After the attack Coppola and Conrad both use fog to show the uncertainty the characters have in regards to completing their tasks. The men in the novel begin to randomly shoot into the jungle once the attack begins. They are unable to see their attackers so they are shooting completely blind. After the attack is over a large cloud of smoke from the men’s guns floating in front of the boat. Marlow then continues to lead the men of the boat blindly up the Congo River. In...
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