Parallels Between Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now

1871 Words Apr 11th, 2005 8 Pages
Various parallels can be drawn when comparing and contrasting Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Frank Coppola's "Apocalypse Now", while taking into consideration Heart of Darkness is a novella and "Apocalypse Now" is a film. These differences and similarities can be seen in themes, characters, events and other small snippets of information including anything from quoted lines to strange actions of the main characters. Both pieces follow the same story line but they are presented in different contexts, allowing for many differences as well as the ability to see how Conrad is able to write a piece of literature that can be transposed to many different settings regardless the time period and still convey the same message of colonialism. …show more content…
It is similar, for the exception that in one they are on the ship in which the shelling occurs, versus simply being a bystander. It shows how `fire happy' these men were ready to fight and kill without a motive.

Heart of Darkness and "Apocalypse Now" both embody the theme of madness and insanity. In Heart of Darkness madness and insanity come as a result of imperialism, Africa is responsible for mental disintegration as well as for physical illness. Madness, in Heart of Darkness, is the result of being removed from ones normal environment and how each person adapts and then re-adapts to society. The same theme of madness and insanity can be seen in Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." Many of the soldier's are just kids, barely 18 or 19, and have little mental stability, since being thrown into a context that is so foreign to them, where their life is on the line every minute. Men like Chef and Lance are ready to snap at any moment because of the shock and realization of where they are, what they are doing, and the fear of not knowing where they are headed. Coppola confronts the insanity of war through Kurtz and the other young men, he is able to depict what it was like for these men, and why so many men after serving in Vietnam suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

One interesting event that is different is the endings of Heart of Darkness and "Apocalypse Now." In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz is dying of a slow death and indeed
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