Heart Of Darkness Essay, Research Paper

Compare and Contrast:

Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now

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Built-in indoors every human psyche is a barbarian evil side that remains repressed by society. Often this evil side interruptions out during times of isolation from our civilization, and whenever one civilization confronts another. History is loaded with illustrations of atrociousnesss that have occurred when one civilization comes into contact with another. Whenever basically different civilizations meet, there is frequently a fright of taint and loss of ego that leads us to detect more about our true egos, frequently doing perceived lunacy by those who have yet to detect.

Joseph Conrad & # 8217 ; s book, The Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppola & # 8217 ; s film, Apocalypse Now are both narratives about adult male & # 8217 ; s journey into his ego, and the finds to be made at that place. They are besides about adult male facing his frights of failure, insanity, decease, and cultural taint.

During Marlow & # 8217 ; s mission to happen Kurtz, he is besides seeking to happen himself. He, like Kurtz had good purposes upon come ining the Congo. Conrad tries to demo us that Marlow is what Kurtz had been, and Kurtz is what Marlow could go. Every homo has a small of Marlow and Kurtz in them. Marlow says about himself, & # 8220 ; I was acquiring barbarian, & # 8221 ; 1 significance that he was going more like Kurtz. Along the trip into the wilderness, they discover their true egos through contact with barbarian indigens.

As Marlow ventures further up the Congo, he feels like he is going back through clip. He sees the unsettled wilderness and can experience the darkness of it & # 8217 ; s purdah. Marlow comes across simpler cannibalistic civilizations along the Bankss. The deeper into the jungle he goes, the more regressive the dwellers seem.

Kurtz had lived in the Congo, and was separated from his ain civilization for rather some clip. He had one time been considered an honest adult male, but the jungle changed him greatly. Here, secluded from the remainder of his ain society, he discovered his evil side and became corrupted by his power and purdah. Marlow tells us about the Ivory that Kurtz kept as his ain, and that he had no restraint, and was & # 8220 ; a tree swayed by the wind. & # 8221 ; 2 Marlow references the human caputs displayed on stations that & # 8220 ; showed that Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the satisfaction of his assorted lusts. & # 8221 ; 3 Conrad besides tells us & # 8220 ; his & # 8230 ; nervousnesss went incorrect, and caused him to preside at certain midnight dances stoping with indefinable rights, which & # 8230 ; were offered up to him, & # 8221 ; 4 significance that Kurtz went insane and allowed himself to be worshipped as a God. It appears that while Kurtz had been isolated from his civilization, he had become corrupted by this violent native civilization, and allowed his evil side to command him.

Marlow realizes that merely really near the clip of decease, does a individual grasp the large image. He describes Kurtz & # 8217 ; s last minutes & # 8220 ; as though a head covering had been rent. & # 8221 ; 5 Kurtz & # 8217 ; s last & # 8220 ; supreme minute of complete cognition, & # 8221 ; 6 showed him how atrocious the human psyche truly can be. Marlow can merely theorize as to what Kurtz saw that caused him to cry & # 8220 ; The horror! The

horror, & # 8221 ; 6 but subsequently adds that & # 8220 ; Since I peeped over the border myself, I understand better the

significance of his stare & # 8230 ; it was broad plenty to encompass the whole existence, piercing adequate to perforate all the Black Marias that beat in the darkness & # 8230 ; he had summed up, he had judged. & # 8221 ; 7 Marlow conjectures that Kurtz all of a sudden knew everything and discovered how atrocious the fraudulence of adult male can be. Marlow learned through Kurtz & # 8217 ; s decease, and he now knows that inside every homo is this atrocious, evil side.

Francis Coppola & # 8217 ; s film, Apocalypse Now, is based slackly upon Conrad & # 8217 ; s book. Captain Willard is a Marlow who is on a mission into Cambodia during the Vietnam war to happen and kill an insane Colonel Kurtz. Coppola & # 8217 ; s Kurtz, as he experienced his epiphany of horror, was an officer and a sane, successful, superb leader. Like Conrad & # 8217 ; s Kurtz, Coppola shows us a adult male who was one time really good respected, but was corrupted by the horror of war and the civilizations he met.

Coppola tells us in Hearts of Darkness that Kurtz & # 8217 ; s major fright is & # 8220 ; being white in a non white jungle. & # 8221 ; 8 The narrative Kurtz tells Willard about the Particular Forces traveling into a small town, inoculating the kids for infantile paralysis and traveling off, and the Communists coming into the small town and cutting off all the kids & # 8217 ; s inoculated weaponries, is the chief grounds for this deduction in that movie. This is when Kurtz begins to travel huffy, he & # 8220 ; wept like some grandma & # 8221 ; 9 when, called back by a villager, he saw the heap of small weaponries, a sophisticated version of the & # 8220 ; intensifying horrors. & # 8221 ; What Kurtz meant by & # 8220 ; intensifying horrors & # 8221 ; 9 is the Vietnamese ground forces & # 8217 ; s mindless beheading, anguish, and the similar. Kurtz is confronting a new civilization and has a awful clip covering with it. This was the beginning of his insanity.

Both The Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now examine the good and evil in worlds. In The Heart of Darkness, Marlow speaks of Fresleven who was killed in a battle with some indigens. The statement between Fresleven and the indigens was over some poulets, and Fresleven felt he had been ripped off in the trade. Marlow describes Fresleven as & # 8220 ; ? the gentlest, quietest animal that of all time walked on two legs. & # 8221 ; 10 However, subsequently in the same paragraph Marlow says, & # 8221 ; ? he likely felt the demand at last of asseverating his dignity in some manner. Therefore he whacked the old nigga mercilessly. & # 8221 ; 10 Soldiers in combat are forced to convey the immorality within themselves out every clip they go into conflict. The scene in Apocalypse Now where Captain Willard first meets Lt. Colonel Kilgore exhibits the power combat has in conveying out the dark side in worlds. The attitude the soldiers have towards their enemy in the scene shows how evil worlds can be. Kilgore demonstrates his dark side when he tosses the & # 8220 ; decease cards & # 8221 ; 11 on to the organic structures of the dead Vietcong without demoing any compunction over the decease of fellow worlds. Granted the Vietcong were his enemies, but they were no less human.

Traditional readings of elation and darkness tend to correlate elation with goodness and pureness, and darkness with immorality and corruptness. However, in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, the definitions of elation and darkness can be reversed. Dark can be interpreted to stand for the pureness and artlessness of the indigens lifestyle, while elation can be seen as the corruptness, greed, and exploitatory ways of the white work forces. The indigens lived by the codification of nature in a kind of & # 8220 ; darkness, & # 8221 ; in that they had non been exposed to the corruptness of the

civilised universe. Some of the indigens were & # 8220 ; enlightened & # 8221 ; to conform to populate by the regulations of the white work forces. One such native is described as a, & # 8220 ; merchandise of the new forces at work. & # 8221 ; 12 This new & # 8220 ; enlightened & # 8221 ; category of armed indigens worked to assist the white work forces enslave their fellow tribesmen by escorting the confined work forces on work inside informations at gun point.

Racism is clearly portrayed throughout the November

EL and film in several different ways. For illustration, the influential white males are far from colour blind in that random hiting takes topographic point in both the book and the film simply for the interest of killing the indigens of each state severally. The native’s life styles are dramatically changed when their land is dominated by the overmastering white work forces. The Whites expected the indigens to follow and follow with their demands once the indigens fatherlands were invaded, because the Whites considered themselves civilised and idea of the indigens as barbarians. Color of tegument is used by the Whites to apologize their actions towards the indigens.

& # 8220 ; All America contributed to the devising of Colonel Kurtz, merely as all Europe produced Mr. Kurtz. Both Kurtzes are idealized in their map as eyewitnesses to the atrociousnesss. What is reflected is the menace of loss of ego, loss of centrality, and the supplanting of Western civilization from the perceived centre of history by those whom it has enslaved and oppressed. & # 8221 ; 13 This tells us that the evil side and the lunacy in both Kurtzes was brought out by the fright of new civilizations different from their ain, and their inability to cover with this fright. The disjunction between the gap words of Kurtz & # 8217 ; s describe & # 8220 ; By the simple exercising of our will, we can exercise a power for good practically boundless & # 8221 ; 14 and the note on the last page, & # 8220 ; Exterminate all the beasts! & # 8221 ; 15 illustrates the progressive externalisation of Kurtz & # 8217 ; s fright of & # 8220 ; taint, & # 8221 ; the personal fright of loss of ego which colonialist Whites saw in the & # 8220 ; uncivilized, & # 8221 ; apparently regressive life style of the indigens. Gradually, the fraudulence of adult male and world merged for the two Kurtzes, one in the Congo, and one in Vietnam. As this happened, the well defined cultural values masculine/feminine and self/other that had specific segregated functions, could non be sustained in the Congo or in Vietnam. & # 8220 ; For the Americans in Vietnam, as for the colonialists in Africa, lunacy is the consequence of the decomposition of abstract boundaries held to be absolute. & # 8221 ; 13

& # 8220 ; As it attempts to face the & # 8216 ; insanity & # 8217 ; of the war through Kurtz & # 8217 ; s lunacy, that of the film makers, and the lunacy of U.S. civilization, Hearts of Darkness exposes the contradictions between the built-in hierarchy and inequality within the cultural forces of the United States and official democratic rules, which led to the perceptual experience that it could blow what it viewed as undistinguished small people and continue its ain image in the universe. Along with that is the turning realisation, since the Tet Offensive of 1968, that the U.S. was somehow manner off the mark. & # 8221 ; 13 North American Culture views itself as & # 8220 ; rectify & # 8221 ; , and we see ourselves as powerful constabulary of the universe. Our civilization looked down upon the Vietnamese because they were more simple than us, merely as Europe and Marlow looked down on the Africans. Believing ourselves to be superior, we had a batch of problem covering with the find that we are non.

Coppola makes a point to demo us that the Chief of a boat armed to the dentition was killed by a indigen in a tree who threw a lance. Not even an & # 8220 ; advanced & # 8221 ; Navy boat can support itself against some & # 8220 ; simple & # 8221 ; indigens armed merely with lances. This opens Captain Willard & # 8217 ; s eyes to the

horror of the state of affairs he now finds himself in.

Even more challenging, nevertheless, is the similarity between the transmutation of the characters in Apocalypse Now, and the dramatis personae and crew that created it. In Hearts of Darkness, ( a docudrama about the devising of Apocalypse Now. ) Eugene Coppola becomes the storyteller ( a Marlow or Captain Willard ) and Francis becomes Kurtz.

& # 8220 ; Francis believed that merely if he could double Willard & # 8217 ; s experience, could he understand his moral battle. In other words, he had to lose control of his ain life before he could happen the replies to the inquiries that his narrative asked. & # 8221 ; 16 Coppola & # 8217 ; s chief horror was his fright of bring forthing a pretentious film. & # 8220 ; Eleanor repeatedly calls the devising of Apocalypse Now a journey into Coppola & # 8217 ; s inner ego. Coppola, like Kurtz, is regarded as a divinity. Furthermore, while Willard chaffs Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, Coppola stalks himself, raising inquiries which he feels compelled to reply but can non, eventually denoting his desire to & # 8220 ; shoot himself. & # 8221 ; He means suicide, but the cinematic intension of the term, & # 8220 ; to hit, & # 8221 ; jointly criticizes both the U.S. and Coppola & # 8217 ; s movie for exerting a demented self-absorption. & # 8221 ; 16 Coppola had to cover with possibly the most agonizing of his problems: his shrinking assurance. As the budget soared, as the manufacturers worried, as the crew and histrions grew ungratified and dispassionate, Coppola worried that he did non hold what it takes to complete the movie. He struggled with the stoping, with his ain originative ability, and with his sense of intent.

Martin Sheen, who plays Captain Willard, is the 1 who truly faces the horror. During the cinematography he has a nervous dislocation and subsequently a bosom onslaught. Some of his co-actors believed that Martin was going Captain Willard, and was sing the same journey of self find.

Heart of Darkness and its film opposite number, Apocalypse Now are superb portraitures of a adult male in hunt of himself. Marlow and Willard both go in hunt of Kurtz merely to happen themselves. I believe that Kurtz is really non a adult male, but the & # 8220 ; bosom of darkness & # 8221 ; in Marlow, Willard, and every adult male. At some point in every individuals life they are forced down a dark way

in hunt of something, merely to happen that it is himself he is seeking for. Marlow and Willard both realize this and neither of them comes out of the jungle the same adult male that went into the jungle.

We live our lives sheltered in our ain society, and our exposure to civilizations outside of our ain is limited at best. Often, the more technologically advanced civilizations look down upon those that they deem to be simpler. On the juncture that some member of one civilization does come into contact with another, simpler civilization, a ego find happens. Both civilizations realize that deep down indoors, all worlds are basically the same. We all posses a good and an evil side, and no civilization, no affair how & # 8220 ; advanced, & # 8221 ; is exempt from that fact.. This find frequently causes madness as this evil side is allowed out. Merely those who have completed the & # 8220 ; journey into ego & # 8221 ; can understand the actions of people such as Kurtz. They are entirely in this universe of horror & # 8230 ;

The Horror!

1. Apocalypse Now. Dir. Francis Coppola. With Martin Sheen, Robert Duval, and Marlon Brando. Zeotrope, ( 1979. )

2. Conrad, James. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Great Britain, BPC paperbacks ltd. ( 1990. )

3. Heartss of Darkness. Dir. Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper. Paramount, ( 1991. )

4. & # 8220 ; HEARTS OF DARKNESS & # 8212 ; A FILMMAKER & # 8217 ; S APOCALYPSE. & # 8221 ; , Magill & # 8217 ; s Survey of Cinema, ( 6-15-1995. )

5. Worthy, Kim, & # 8220 ; Hearts of Darkness: Making art, doing history, doing money, doing `Vietnam & # 8217 ; . & # 8221 ; . , Vol. 19, Cineaste, ( 12-01-1992 ) , pp 24.


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