Heart of Darkness vs. Apocalypse Now Essay

816 Words 4 Pages
In Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, both Joseph Conrad and Francis Ford Coppola create similar statements through their creations as they both centralize their views upon the effects of environmental changes that affect the human condition. The film Apocalypse Now vaguely reflects a similar message pursued by Conrad’s novella, due to the difference in time period, place setting, and circumstances in which the film was created. Conrad wrote his novella during British colonization, focusing upon imperialism. Coppola’s film similarly focused upon the barbaric nature of man, which demonstrates the insanity of the Vietnam War. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad centers his main focus upon the journey of Marlow, a sailor, who travels into …show more content…
Kurtz’s lack of restraint and hunger for ivory consumes not only his soul but drains all of his physical existence. Upon seeing him, Marlow states, “I could see the cage of his ribs all astir, the bones of his arm waving (126)”. Conrad focuses on the physical features of Kurtz to display the madness that has consumed him. However, though Kurtz’s body is deteriorating, Kurtz’s mind continues to thrive. Conrad shows this in Marlow’s shock of witnessing a flame of passion that remains in Kurtz’s eyes as he converses without signs of exhaustion (126). Conrad continues to describe Kurtz as a shadow composed of tranquility and satisfaction. Conrad’s incorporation of this detail signifies the evil and greed that consumes Kurtz and is reflected through his physique. However, the power of Kurtz’s presence is personified through the action of his words. As the strength in his voice captures Marlow’s attention, it merely reflects his influence upon his followers. The power reflected through his voice displayed his confidence as well as his position as a leader for the natives. Hi demeanor displays an air of arrogance that makes others feel less equal to him. Those who follow him fear him, but also continue to respect him. In Apocalypse Now, Coppola creates a similar, however unique parallel structure as Willard meets Kurtz.