Marlow Vs. Willard Essay

Marlow Vs. Willard Essay

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Marlow vs. Willard


Charles Marlow and Captain Willard have many characteristics that would make them alike and different. Marlow, from the novel Heart of Darkness, was a man who was on a mission through Cambodia to find Kurtz. Captain Willard, from the movie “Apocalypse Now”, was a man on a mission to exterminate a fellow member of the United States Armed Forces, Kurtz. “Apocalypse Now” is a Vietnam parallel of the novel Heart of Darkness. While both these men were on a search for a man, they both went through many difficult hardships on the way.

Both of the men had different backgrounds before they began their journey. Marlow was an experienced sailor, while Willard was an experienced warrior. Willard was a man who went to hell and back in Vietnam. His soul was already corrupted and only got worse while his journey to Kurtz continued. Marlow was a man who just wanted a job. His experience in sailing was the reason he got into his mission. Marlow takes the place of a captain who was killed by natives while on a similar journey. Willard was a man who was picked by the secret service. He was looked at because of his strong history in the military. The history of both men was important for each of them to go their perspective missions.
The surroundings for each man were unique. While both Marlow and Willard had to put up with natives, they had crews that were different. While Marlow had a crew with mostly natives, Willard had a crew of American soldiers who were serving their country.

Willard’s crew was comprised of mostly young men who had no idea what they were doing. “Come on all of you big strong me,” writes Joseph McDonald, “Uncle Sam needs your help again”(Class handouts, McDonald). This would describe the men that were with Willard. None of them knew where they were headed or why they were leaving, all they knew was they were serving their country. Marlow’s crew knew that they were trying to figure out what happened to the ivory supply. Marlow had a crew full of mostly natives. Their respective ships were different too. While Marlow cruised on a French steamer, Willard was on a boat provided by the military. Both men had a unique surrounding that helped each respective tale.

Both Marlow and Willard became obsessed with a man by the name of Kurtz. Marlow wanted to meet Kurtz very bad. He was so fascinated with his accomplishments that he...


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...urtz. Marlow could tell that Kurtz was dying while Willard knew what he had to do and that was kill Kurtz. Willard had doubts about killing Kurtz but after seeing Kurtz’s camp he knew what had to be done. Marlow knew that Kurtz had a good reason to do what he did but the ways he did them was not moral. The plundering of ivory was not good. Marlow and Willard both went through a substantial change after meeting Kurtz. The mystery that both Marlow and Willard had about Kurtz was all over. They met this man that was on their minds since leaving for their missions. One cannot tell, if Marlow and Willard were disappointed, of the states they found Kurtz. Willard at one point was even considering joining Kurtz. Willard finally realized the power of the jungle and how it took in Kurtz.

Willard and Marlow are both very similar but have differences as well. Throughout “Apocalypse Now” and Heart of Darkness, each character went through many conflicts. While the sailor and the soldier went on their search to find Kurtz, they encountered many different obstacles. I believe that Willard went through a rougher time then Marlow, but one can only imagine the struggles that encountered Marlow.

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