Heart of Darkness and Apocolypse Now : analysis of book&movie
Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now
Inherent inside every human soul is a savage evil side that remains repressed by society. Often this evil side breaks out during times of isolation from our culture, and whenever one culture confronts another. Joseph Conrad's book, The Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppola's movie, Apocalypse Now are both stories about Man's journey into his self, and the discoveries to be made there. They are also about Man confronting his fears of failure, insanity, death, and cultural contamination. Heart of Darkness is about a man named Marlo telling of a trip he took into Africa to find a man named Kurtz for a company. During Marlow's mission to find Kurtz, he is also trying to find himself. He, like Kurtz had good intentions upon entering the Congo. Conrad tries to show us that Marlow is what Kurtz had been, and Kurtz is what Marlow could become. Every human has a little of Marlow and Kurtz in them. Along the trip into the wilderness, they discover their true selves through contact with savage natives. As Marlow ventures further up the Congo, he feels like he is traveling back through time. He sees the unsettled wilderness and can feel the darkness of it's solitude. Marlow comes across simpler cannibalistic cultures along the banks. The deeper into the jungle he goes, the more regressive the inhabitants seem. Kurtz had lived in the Congo, and was separated from his own culture for quite some time. He had once been considered an honorable man, but the jungle changed him greatly. Here, secluded from the rest of his own society, he discovered his evil side and became corrupted by his power and solitude. Marlow tells us about the Ivory that Kurtz kept as his own, and that he had no restraint, and was " a tree swayed by the wind." (Conrad 209) Marlow mentions the human heads displayed on posts that "showed that Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his...
Cited: Apocalypse Now. Dir. Francis Coppola. With Martin Sheen, Robert Duval, and Marlon Brando. Zeotrope, 1979.
Conrad, James. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Great Britain, BPC paperbacks ltd. 1990.
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