Apocalypse Now Essay

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Essay Apocalypse Now

The horrors and mental terror should be your friends, or feared enemy.
In the movie, “Apocalypse Now” from 1979, we are shown, through the characters changing characterisation and the movies script, the horrors of the Vietnam war, and how the soldier fighting the war, is affected by it. We are given an idea of what it takes to fight and win a war.
The first seven minutes of the movie resumes the entire war through captain Benjamin L. Willard’s behaviour while spending a week in a hotel room waiting for a mission in the Vietnamese city Saigon. At first, we are shown the palm trees and dusty banks of Vietnam. “This is the dead land. This is cactus land” as T. S. Elliot writes in his poem The Hollow Men. This is “Death’s …show more content…

He listens to Kurtz talking about the essentials of war: “Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared.” And Kurtz is convinced that the American army is not strong enough to be ‘friends’ with the horror. To explain this to Willard we are told a story, in which the Americans are inoculating the children of a Vietnamese children. After this the Viet Cong came in and cut of the inoculated arms of the children. To Kurtz this shows the courage and the will it takes to win a war. He is sure that the Americans will lose the war. As Willard listens to the story you get a feeling that he begins to understand Kurtz. He silently agrees with his views, and perhaps it is exactly these words that makes him able to kill Kurtz in the end. Kurtz is the captain in Walt Whitman’s poem “Oh Captain! My Captain!” Willard is the soldier who lost his commander, but in this scenario Willard is also the killer of the captain. It is Kurtz own words who leads to his death, and this he is aware of.
Through the main character Captain Willard, we are shown the different physical and mental states of a soldier during war. In the end, we are told what it takes to win a war, and how bravery is not based in good ethics, but in will and

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