Even fewer scenes were in Apocalypse Now to directly demonstrate the power of Colonel Kurtz, except one
Kurtz is known for his success in Africa and the amount of ivory he has produced there, but Kurtz has become obsessed with it and has been overtaken by the darkness of Africa essentially becoming savage himself. When Kurtz first came to Africa, he wanted to civilize the natives and imperialize them using peace. He said, “It gave me the notion of an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence” (Conrad 46). In this quote Kurtz explains the key to success was to “come in like gods” and rule with benevolence. Kurtz had pure intentions, no violence or death just imperialism. Later on in the pamphlet however, Kurtz changes his view on how to deal with the natives. He wrote, “…Exterminate all the brutes,” (Conrad 46). This shows the reader the evil and darkness inside of Kurtz, and makes us question his morality. Kurtz becomes obsessed with ivory, and is the leader of a native tribe that he uses to attack and ransack other native tribes. He is
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.
Kurtz proves to be a great man. The unfortunate thing is that as the story advances, he becomes very ill and sick. Kurtz shows us many things wrong with society. Him being such a talented man should have never been taken down by society the way that he was. The pilgrims on the other hand are very selfish and want to be appointed to a station without working. They are motivate entirely by self-interest.
In 1979, Francis Coppola released a film that he said he hoped "would give its audience a sense of the horror, the madness, the sensuousness, and the moral dilemma of the Vietnam war" (as quoted in Hagen 230). His film, Apocalypse Now, based on Joseph Conrad's 1902 novel Heart of Darkness, is the story of Captain Benjamin Willard's (Martin Sheen) journey to the interior of the jungle of Southeastern Asia for the purpose of executing his orders to track down Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Once Kurtz is located, Willard is to "terminate his command with extreme prejudice" because Kurtz has raised an army of deserters and natives, whom he
Originally Kurtz had good intentions in journeying to the Congo. He honestly believed in using the ivory trade to better the social and economic aspects of the region, while simultaneously helping the natives to become civilized and part of the world which he thought was superior. Kurtz is only able to impress his own beliefs and ideals upon society and therefore help it however, by taking control of the people of the society. He establishes this control in the
In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz is depicted as an upstanding European who has been transformed by his time in the jungle- being away from the society he was used to that could have prevented him from becoming such a tyrant. I have experienced being in a situation where I was very different from the people around me. It forced me to figure out their interests so I was able to join in on their conversations. By the end of the day, I no longer felt alone. So that experience taught me that I am going to come across diversity in life, but I need to be open and accepting of it. If I had chosen to just be shy, I wouldn’t have learned this lesson. I didn’t find myself being pulled toward base, cruel instincts as Kurtz, but I think that’s because Kurtz had no one to control him. If a person gains that much power, it may lead to the transformation that Kurtz experienced. –pg. 144 “But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself, and, by heavens! I tell you, it had gone mad.”
Throughout the novel, Kurtz’s voice has been the sole manifestation of project, however, the sentence “a cry that was no more than a breath” signals the crumbling of this ideology, whereby what was once a loud and prominent voice is merely a whimpering inaudible voice that has no life to it. Marlow’s awkward incomplete sentence “Mistah-Kurtz-he dead”, in itself is analogous with the character of Kurtz, one that is also devoid of any action or doing, but a being that finds expression solely in the form of a voice that is implanted in people’s minds. After Kurtz has died, Marlow refers to him only ambiguously with the objectified pronoun “something” that is being buried in a muddy hole”, thus lacking any indication of having ever been acquainted with Kurtz as a human, and rendering him a lifeless vessel that without a voice serves no ulterior purpose. Kurtz disturbing cry “The horror! The horror!” is a moment of supreme enlightenment, having come to understand the nature of the deeds he has committed in true perspective, with “horror” directly referencing the to the blind ideology, this noble idea that has misguided them to evil and darkness with the empty promise of good intent. This moment denotes the complete knowledge that has overcome Kurtz and enabled him to realise that the colonial project was really in fact a project of exploitation with illusions of hope and understanding that was undertaken under the guise of
He puts such confidence in the three Weird Sisters that he can’t even see that their evilness is leading him down the wrong path. His appointment to Thane of Cawdor makes him believe that he is better than anyone else, even Duncan. Why should he be more qualified for the position of king that any one of Duncan’s other trusted comrades? The truth is that he isn’t; He only believes himself to be. This superiority complex cannot be illustrated better than through Kurtz. Not only does he believe himself to be higher than God, he actually thinks of himself as a god. The way the natives worship him and how the "chiefs . . . would crawl" (Conrad, 133) to him are examples of the way he tricked the ignorant natives into thinking of him as a god. They carried him around on a stretcher and just adored him even though he forced them to get ivory and punished them harshly. Because of his powerful position and because he truly believed that he was in many ways better than everyone else, Kurtz was able to convince everyone he came in contact with of this theory of his god-like stature. Both men thought of themselves as superior because of the titles and duties earned from their evil and cheated ambition.
Apocalypse Now is the story of a Green Beret named Willard who journeys through Vietnam by river to confront an officer who left the army in the pursuit of his own private war. Willard's journey is not just a trip down a river, it is a metaphorical journey, and creates the effect of multiple levels of meaning. In addition to a superbly constructed story, Apocalypse Now can be viewed as a social commentary, an exploration of human conscience, or a moral metaphor. I truly enjoy dissecting and analyzing movies, as well as literate, at this level. I try to understand what the author, or film maker is really trying to say.
Kurtz, who has an obsession to power is included in the novella by Conrad to symbolize the greediness for ivory and the immoral values of the Europeans. Initially, Kurtz was out to explore and actually benefit the natives, but that changes when he becomes powerful. Eventually, Kurtz makes it obvious that he is out for one thing, and that is ivory. Unlike the Company, he actually displays his greediness for ivory by threatening his own employees. Kurtz “[declares] he would shoot [the harlequin] unless [he] gave him the ivory” and then commands him to leave the country (126). This presents how he utilizes force to achieve his goals. Kurtz represents the unconcealed avarice of the Company. Kurtz is also another one of the characters that knows that he is harming others, but still desires to get as much ivory as he can. Ivory “was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were
The apocalypse is a common subject addressed in films and such Doomsday scenarios have become increasingly popular since the beginning of the Cold War. These films provide a different cause for the downfall of human kind and approach the subject with various degrees of despair and hope. Despite the obvious differences in approach that different directors take, these films all serve to highlight not only the negative qualities of human kind that led to and are represented by the agent of destruction but also to highlight the strength of the survivors who keep the will to fight for their lives despite the bleak circumstances. For the most part, The Mist, adapted from a Stephen King novella, sticks closely to the archetype. The Mist, a
Kurtz, more than anyone, was a signal of human potential to Marlow, the 'universal genius', the 'extraordinary man' found the limits of his potential much more easily in his isolation: "Believe me or not, his intelligence was perfectly clear - concentrated, it is true, upon himself with a horrible intensity, yet clear..."(Conrad 65). Kurtz's abilities had nothing to work on
Kurtz, a mystery throughout the whole novella, is known as a prodigy by the people back home. Marlow first hears of him when he goes to accept the job that his aunt arranged for him. Since evil is not a universal constant, it changes according to each observer and the
He witnesses the heart of darkness. The absolutely corrupted evil mind by greed and thirst for power. Kurtz has become an insane godlike slaver and leader in a native African tribe. He developed extremely high level of self importance and as the result he disconnected with the world and reality. Although, Kurtz started out like Marlow, as noble conqueror. However, there was nobody to check on him, he had no supervisor and as Marlow often said - Kurtz could not restrain himself from the temptation. He entered a state of mind where had no borders anymore, slaying down other tribes and killing for wealth without showing any kind of remorse. For him it became normal or even natural. Kurtz's godlike side also prevails where he claims around him