Apocalypse Now And Heart Of Darkness Placed in various time periods and settings, the novel Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad, and the movie Apocalypse Now, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, both create the same mysterious journey with various similarties and differences. The journeys mystery lies in the scene; it is one down a river by boat, deep in the jungle. The jungle is populated mainly with wild animals and a few natives. The reason for the expedition is to search for a sick man named Kurtz, who is followed by the natives and his men from their previous missions.
In Heart of Darkness, the journey to find Kurtz, who is an ivory trader who has gone too deep into the jungles of Africa in search of ivory, while in Apocalypse Now, Kurtz is a high-ranking officer in the military who has disobeyed orders and is now fighting the Vietnam war in Cambodia with his unit in his own fashion.The protagonists in both the novel and the movie go through various changes while on their mission to find Kurtz. Marlow, who is the rookie captain of a ship, slowly begins to envision Kurtz as an immortal figure. In the movie, Willards state of mind ranges from being a demented soldier to a crazed assassin. Although they are on the same mission, Marlow and Willard face terribly different factors that affect their journey. The difference of experiences, location, technology, communication, and mindset all affect each character in different ways.
Although they may have faced varying environments, in the end the result was the same, Kurtz is discovered as a sick and possibly demented individual. Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now are two strikingly similar yet subtly different stories that end in the same fashion. Since Heart of Darkness was based in the 1890s, Marlow experiences many things due to the lack of modern amenities and modern technologies. For example, a damaged steamer delays Marlows journey for almost three weeks.
The delay is caused because Marlow and his crew could not get the rivets they needed to fix the steamer. A phone or radio could have helped Marlow fix his steamer earlier and gotten onto the water quicker. Three weeks might have been the difference between life and death for Mr.Kurtz.
Another example of a lack of communication is the communication between stations: Is he alone there? Yes, answered the manager; "he sent his assistant down the river with a note to me in these terms: "Clear this poor devil out of the country, and dont bother sending another more of that sort. I had rather be alone than have the kind of men you can dispose of with me." It was more than a year ago. (Conrad 100) If the communication between stations would have been better, Marlow may have known the conditions the station was in, and the area around it. Information about Kurtzs authority over the natives also could have helped save the life of a member of Marlows crew. Communication with Kurtzs station would have benefited Marlow and his mission, by saving precious time and lives.
Another modern amenity Marlow could have used were detailed maps and reconnaissance.These tools would have allowed Marlow access to solving geographic issues preventing him from reaching Kurtzs station, such as a sandbank and a grassy islet. The sandbank and the grassy islet were what caused Marlow and his crew to be sitting ducks for the natives to shoot at. The necessary modern amenities may have made Marlows journey a shorter and safer one. During the times in which Apocalypse Now is based, many aspects of daily life evolved.
These changes have profoundly affected civilized life, while those still out in the jungle may not have felt any of these effects at all.Willard dealt with different issues than Marlow because technology solved the many problems that Marlow faced. Willard did not have to deal with a lack of communication or reconnaissance, all of this was provided by radio, phone, and reconnaissance planes. Willard also knew about the conditions of Kurtzs location, he knew the natives followed Kurtz, and that it was going to be a gruesome scene when he arrived. As he arrived up river, Willard saw bodies hanging from ropes and was not the least bit affected by it. Weapons were also an aspect that was different from the movie and the book.
There were greater fatalities in the movie because guns and bombs are far deadlier than arrows or spears. In fact, Willard was affected by the shear number of deaths he witnessed, especially the death of the character played by Lawerence Fishburne, who was just a child. Technology affected Willard just as the lack of technology affected Marlow in various instances. Although there are many differences between the journeys in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, there are a few similarities. A noticeable similarity in the journeys is that both Willard and Marlows ships get shot at by the natives.
What makes the connection between the movie and the book is that in both stories the boats get shot with arrows, and a crewmember dies. Another major similarity is the fact that the natives at the end of the journey follow Kurtz as though he were a god.In the book, the natives listen to the orders of Kurtz and attack the boat to stop them from taking him. In the movie, there are a few signs that Kurtz is highly respected by the natives. In one scene as Willard comes up the river he sees a large wooden head, which resembles Kurtz.
Another example is the scene where Willard comes out of Kurtzs room, and the natives looked stunned. Then Willard walks through the crowd of natives and they all make way for him as he passes through. The natives are clearly in a state of disarray as their leader, their savior, had died.In ...