Heart Of Darkness Vs. Apocalyp Essay, Research Paper
Comparative Essay between Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now
The relationship between Joseph Conrad’s book, Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppola’s movie, Apocalypse Now are obvious. Apocalypse Now follows the story line of the Heart of Darkness although the settings of each story are from completely different location and time periods. In both the book and the movie, the ideas of good and evil, lightness and darkness, and racism are apparent. Characterization in both the novel and the movie are very similar. Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now have very similar themes and characterization while the settings differ.
Both The Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now contain examples of the good and evil in humans. In the Heart of Darkness, Marlow speaks of Fresleven who was killed in a fight with some natives. The argument between Fresleven and the natives was over some chickens, and Fresleven felt he had been ripped off in the deal. Marlow describes Fresleven as ” the gentlest, quietest creature that ever walked on two legs.” However, later in the same paragraph Marlow says,” he probably felt the need at last of asserting his self-respect in some way. Therefore he whacked the old nigger mercilessly.” Soldiers in combat are forced to bring the evil within themselves out every time they go into battle. The scene in Apocalypse Now where Willard first meets Kilgore shows how combat can bring out the dark side in humans. The attitude the soldiers have towards their enemy in the scene shows how evil humans can be. Kilgore demonstrates an evil side when he tosses the cards on the bodies of the dead Vietcong without showing any remorse for them although they are human. The Vietcong were his enemies, but they were also human.
In Heart of Darkness, there is the recurrence of lightness and darkness. There are many times in the novel when Conrad talks about entering the jungle or the heart of darkness. Conrad also mentions the brightness of the white fog while they are going down the river many times during the novel. In the movie Apocalypse Now light and darkness are also portrayed in the sense that when ever the soldiers were going into an area occupied by the enemy it would be at a time of darkness, this would indicate that the darkness was a sign of evil. There is also a lot of fog at night during the movie when they get closer to the center of the Vietcong.
Racism is clearly portrayed throughout the novel and movie in several different ways. Marlow shows racism when he says, “It was Unearthly, and the men were—- No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it—this suspicion of their not being inhuman just the though of their humanity like yours the though of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly this quote indicates exactly what Marlow’s first though was upon seeing the lifestyle of the natives. The native’s lifestyles are changed when their land is dominated white men in both the novel and movie. The whites expected the natives to obey their demands, because the whites considered themselves civilized and believe the natives are savages.
Characterization in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now are almost identical. In the movie, Willard is sent into the jungle on a mission to find Kurtz, and in the novel Marlow’s mission becomes finding this mysterious Kurtz that he keeps hearing about. The character of Kurtz is both very similar in both the novel and the movie. Kurtz is the center of evil in both the novel and movie. He is the heart of darkness. He is a man with a reputation for being powerful and mysterious in both novel and movie. Marlow and Willard are also very similar. They both stand back and kind of watch the surrounding area observing what is going on.
The settings of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now are very different. The location and time periods of the novel and movie are completely different. In the novel the setting takes place in the jungle of the Congo in Africa. The setting of the movie was on a river in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Although the settings in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now differ they are very similar in characterization and theme. The themes of good and evil, lightness and darkness, and racism appear in both the movie and the novel. The character of Kurtz is very similar in both the novel and movie also. Kurtz is portrayed as a mysterious man in the heart of the darkness. The main difference between the novel and movie is the location and time period of each. The novel takes place in the jungle of the Congo while the movie takes place on a river in Vietnam. The novel and the movie can be compared through characterization, theme, and setting.