Heart Of Darkness Essay Research Paper Comparison

9 September 2017

Heart Of Darkness Essay, Research Paper

Comparison of Coppola & # 8217 ; s movie & # 8220 ; Apocalypse Now & # 8221 ; and Conrad & # 8217 ; s novel & # 8220 ; Heart of Darkness. & # 8221 ;

Francis Ford Coppola & # 8217 ; s movie of horror in Vietnam, Apocalypse Now, borrows its narrative construction from Joseph Conrad & # 8217 ; s fresh Heart of Darkness. Basically, Coppola transported the 19th century narrative of personal corruption to the jungles of 20th century Vietnam. The consequence of this alteration in scene is inherently tied to the alteration of clip and the political state of affairs, and, while there are a great many similarities between the two narrations, Coppola & # 8217 ; s film portrays a much darker, and more baleful version of the novel.

Conrad & # 8217 ; s novel is set in the 19th century Belgian Congo, and focuses on the character of Charles Marlow, an experient crewman who has been hired by a European trading company as a captain of one of their steamboats. His employer requires Marlow to go up the river and happen Mr. Kurtz, another employee of the trading company that the place office believes is assisting himself to company-owned tusk.

The scene of Coppola & # 8217 ; s movie contrasts aggressively with the scene of Conrad s novel. The movie is set in 20th century Southeast Asia, and depicts the confusion, force, fright, and bloodcurdling lunacy of the Vietnam War. The focal point of the movie is on Captain Benjamin Willard, who is a hired bravo in the American armed forces. Like Marlow, Willard is sent by his employer to happen another employee, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who has gone huffy. Coppola & # 8217 ; s Kurtz, like Conrad & # 8217 ; s, is an complete adult male, and a & # 8220 ; distinguished operations Commander in the Special Forces & # 8221 ; ( Cahir 181 ) , but, he is believed to hold gone wholly insane. He runs his ain private ground forces in the Kampuchean jungle, and is worshiped as a God by a native folk. He is charged with put to deathing Vietnamese intelligence agents, who he believes were dual agents. Even though Colonel Kurtz s military personnels are successful in contending the North Vietnamese, his methods are considered to be unsound.

Willard & # 8217 ; s mission is more terrible than Marlow & # 8217 ; s. While Marlow enterprises to convey Kurtz back to civilisation, Willard & # 8217 ; s mission is to assassinate Colonel Kurtz. This difference is declarative of the alteration in puting. Marlow, in the 19th century Congo, is faced with the fact that, merely beneath the veneer of civilisation, humanity & # 8217 ; s built-in nature is crude and capable of great corruption ; nevertheless, he is besides cognizant of the corruption of European imperialism. He is faced with a pick of incubuss. A personal crisis afflicts Marlow when he realizes that the company director has no existent expostulation to the & # 8220 ; ceremonials & # 8221 ; in which Kurtz has been take parting, other so disrupting the normal trade dealingss with the indigens. He is faced with corruption on one manus, and beastliness on the other. However, Marlow remains moral, rational and sane, which contrasts with Willard s personality. The curious political and cultural fortunes of the Vietnam War transform what might hold been a normal adult male in different fortunes, into a inhuman slayer.

While Marlow contrasts aggressively against Kurtz as a moral adult male, Captain Willard is non a great moral betterment over Colonel Kurtz. We see Willard at the beginning of the movie, holed up in a Saigon hotel, in a status of both physical and religious corruption ( Grieff 189 ) . It is as if Coppola is stating that the adult male, who would hold been normal in the 19th century, has been changed radically by the Vietnamese War.

Marlow & # 8217 ; s first halt in the Congo is at the authorities place at the oral cavity of the river. At this point, Conrad shows his readers the horrors caused by European imperialism. Enslaved indigens are bound to each other by Fe neckbands and ironss: & # 8220 ; A batch of people, largely black and bare, moved about like emmets & # 8221 ; ( Conrad 18 ) . Marlow realizes that these people were non enemies or felons, but victims of the conscienceless imperial system that transformed people into & # 8220 ; black shadows of disease and famishment, lying confusedly in the light-green somberness & # 8221 ; ( Conrad 20 ) . In the thick of all this agony, Marlow encounters a white adult male who stands out because of his unexpected elegance of get-up ( Conrad, 21 ) . This & # 8220 ; miracle & # 8221 ; is the company & # 8217 ; s main comptroller.

Similarly, Willard has a first halt, in which

he has a rendezvous with the Air Cavalry, his bodyguards to the Nung River. Like Marlow, Willard is besides confronted with the horrors caused by Western imperialism ; nevertheless, because of the demands of war, the United States has mobilized formidable war machinery to set up laterality over people in grass huts. Rather so enslaving the people for capitalist intents as they did in the 19th century, the concerns of the 20th century in Southeast Asia dictate their deceases. The indigens, who are seemingly unarmed, are randomly slaughtered. Once more, it is clear how the dictates of the scene of the Vietnam War have “upped the ante” when it comes to darkness.

The US Air Cavalry has its ain & # 8220 ; miracle & # 8221 ; in the signifier of Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore ( Cahir 181 ) . Like the immaculate company comptroller, in Conrad s novel, Kilgore moves unhurt and untasted through the explosive horror ( Cahir 181 ) ; nevertheless, merely as in Heart of Darkness, when Marlow waits at the 2nd outstation for his steamer to be repaired, Willard has a job, excessively: there are merely two points where adequate H2O can be drawn to come in the Nung, and both of these are & # 8220 ; hot, & # 8221 ; that is, they are being held by the Viet Cong ( Cahir 181 ) . Kilgore & # 8217 ; s occupation is to take the best site, launch an onslaught, and present Willard and his board safely to its finish. Kilgore chooses the site because it has the best beach for surfing. His choppers move in while Wagner & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; Flight of the Valkyries & # 8221 ; plays over the speaker units. The scene shows sheer lunacy and, yet, it conjures up inquiries that have deductions refering to imperialism.

Merely as Marlow had to contemplate the actions of his fellow Europeans as he watched the indigens in bonds, this scene from Apocalypse Now creates inquiries such as, & # 8220 ; What are the moral deductions of imperialism? What is acceptable human behavior? And do we all harbor a secret & # 8216 ; captivation with the abomination? & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; ( Cahir 185 ) .

In both plants, the supporter journeys up a river to research these inquiries ; nevertheless, Coppola carries the procedure a measure farther. His supporter, Willard, right at the beginning of the movie, has already been changed irrevocably by the actions that he has had to take as a military bravo. His journey into the bosom of darkness Begins in a sleazy and begrimed hotel room in Saigon. He is imbibing and intentionally eschewing the outside universe. He is haunted by the memories of his earlier workss. The deranged province of his head is clearly apparent when, during a manic, spastic, half-nude dance in his room, he punches and breaks the mirror, bloodies his fist and wipes the bright, ruddy blood all over his face and bare organic structure.

On the contrary, the 19th century puting in Conrad & # 8217 ; s book did non hold such an consequence on Marlow. It is Marlow & # 8217 ; s professionalism as a crewman, and his act of making himself through honing his trade that gives Marlow the necessary unity and strength to defy evil and, finally, to last his African ordeal, more or less with his mind integral ( Grieff 188 ) .

In decision, we observe that a certain clip and epoch can hold a great impact on a individual s whole value system. In Marlow & # 8217 ; s universe, his society may hold taken actions that he does non excuse but Marlow, himself, is non asked to go against his ain moral centre. Willard, on the other manus, must kill Colonel Kurtz and, in this, lies the chief difference between the two clip periods. Though Coppola is confirming Conrad & # 8217 ; s chef-d’oeuvre, demoing the & # 8220 ; bosom of darkness & # 8221 ; that exists in humanity, he is besides implying, through his pick of puting and clip, that the procedures of civilisation in the intervening old ages have brought us closer to the inkiness, and we are stealing of all time closer towards that atrocious darkness, depicted in Conrad s novel. Bibliography

Cahir, Linda C. & # 8220 ; Narratological analogues in Joseph Conrad & # 8217 ; s Heart of Darkness and Francis

Ford Coppola & # 8217 ; s Apocalypse Now, & # 8221 ; Literature Film Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 3, 1992,

pp. 181-187.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Ed. Robert Kimbrough. 3rd erectile dysfunction. New York: Norton, 1988.

Greiff, Louis K. & # 8220 ; Soldier, crewman, surfboarder, chef: Conrad & # 8217 ; s moralss and the borders of Apocalypse

Now, & # 8221 ; Literature Film Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 3, 1992, pp. 188-198.

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