Apocalypse Now Analysis

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Moral Pages: 2 (669 words) Published: December 5, 2013
One of humanity’s defining traits is its concept of morality; we view the actions of ourselves and of others as either being distinctly right or wrong, in contrast to other life on this planet, who act solely based on whether their lives are in danger or not. Morality, however, is almost entirely a social construct; before societies existed, there really was no concept of right and wrong, humans were very much like animals in that everything they did was based on whether they thought their lives were in danger. Perhaps it could be said that morality is ultimately based on a desire to stay alive, given the taking of a life is considered almost unanimously immoral. We also have standards regarding mental stability, certain acts, such as killing, are seen as psychotic, we also see define insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. In spite of what society teaches people, the fact is that we are impressionable; most people are moral and sane because of this. We are taught by nearly everyone around us what is good, what is bad, what is rational and what is irrational. However, there are many places where different rules apply, sometimes insanity and immorality reign supreme; the film Apocalypse Now explores one such place. In the midst of the Vietnam War, a different set of morals are in effect: the most powerful and influential men are either insane or immoral. The main character, Willard is given a mission to kill one such man, Kurtz, who has gone rogue and insane. Willard’s mind is already a fragile one, given that he suffers from some post-traumatic stress and he is must fight to retain his morality and sanity as he travels deeper and deeper into the depths of insanity and immorality. The film Apocalypse Now is an exploration of the human psyche and the effects that isolation and violence can have on it.

The journey down the Nung River, that is to say, the journey to Kurtz represents a descent into increasing madness and...
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