Essay on Heart of Darkness

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The Novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is about an Ivory agent, Marlow, who is also the narrator of his journey up the Congo River into the heart of Africa. Marlow witnesses many new things during his journey to find Mr. Kurtz. In Apocalypse Now, the narrator is Captain Willard, who is also on a journey to find Kurtz. The Kurtz in the movie however is an American colonel who broke away from the American army and decided to hide away in Cambodia, upon seeing the reality of the Vietnam War. The poem “The Hollow Men” talks about how humans’ “hollowness” affects their lives and often leads to the destruction of one’s life. These three works all deal with similar issues, and are related to one another in many ways, and also share …show more content…
“Everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious laughter...” Kurtz believed that everything around him, such as the ivory, and the river all belonged to him. This greed eventually made him forget his identity and he ended up becoming part of the jungle and dying there as a result. Such actions done by Kurtz and his men are a small but important example of what was really happening in Africa by the Europeans during the colonial period. Kurtz’s death represents the downfall failure of European imperialism in Africa.
     The movie Apocalypse Now has a very similar thematic structure but a different issue. Colonel Kurtz in the movie could be an example of how the Americans pretty much lost the Vietnam War. Kurtz realized what was happening around him. “The horror” to him was perhaps the war and the impact of this war on the people’s lives. Kurtz was sent to Cambodia to immunize the children, and was horrified to find out that the Vietcong had cut off all the inoculated arms. This showed Kurtz the reality of war, and that was probably the point where Kurtz had lost his identity and no longer knew why he was there and
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