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Apocalypse Now that mirrored Heart of Darkness: Novel Comparison Essay

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Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now portrays the brutality of the Vietnam War and American’s perspective from therein. Coppola successfully produced this film parallel to Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella, Heart of Darkness. Both portray the effects of imperialism on a native land with respect to the imperialists’ viewpoint. The scene of Apocalypse Now that mirrored Heart of Darkness with the most creative license, on the behalf of Coppola, is perhaps the final scene as Kurtz is slaughtered. Each creator successfully utilized the arts of their crafts to create a final production worthy of admiration while clearly stating their interpretation of imperialism.
Conrad’s interpretation of imperialism is an interesting view of the matter. He successfully portrays his perception of imperialism through his novella, Heart of Darkness. He developed his own impressionistic style within his novel and is coined as one of the most difficult authors to comprehend. His use of the tools within his area of expertise allows the novella to unfold before the readers’ eyes. His ability to manipulate the art of language into an intricately woven design made of simple words is an astounding capability and is a primary reason for the success of Heart of Darkness. In the final chapters of the novella, the protagonist Marlow is sailing away from the dark heart of the Congo with an ailing Kurtz. As the boat makes its decent from the depth of the jungle, symbolically, Kurtz is leaving the savagery in which he was engaged. With each passing mile, he becomes more civilized and ultimately comes to the realization of the error of his ways. Symbolically, as he leaves the darkness of the heart of the river, he becomes sane and civilized and comprehends th...


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...eatrical production can be clearly recognized by the viewer. It is the stylistic elements that each of the creators implement in their respective creations that allows for the interpretation of the audience on their views of imperialism. Author, Joseph Conrad portrays his philosophy of the savagery of imperialism through the eyes of the main character in the novella, Marlow, as he witnesses the barbaric acts of the natives and their effect on Kurtz and his gradual realization of his sinful deeds and their consequences. Comparatively, director Francis Ford Coppola chose to display the brutality of the expansionism and the effect that it has on humans and the abrupt ending that is to follow. Neither Conrad’s Heart of Darkness nor Coppola’s Apocalypse Now failed to represent the devastatingly harmful eventual result of imperialism from an imperialist’s perspective.



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