Compare And Contrast The Fascination In Heart Of Darkness And Apocalypse Now

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The Fascination in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Joseph Conrad around the time of 1899. Apocalypse Now is a film inspired by Heart of Darkness and was released in 1979. Similar themes are displayed in both the film and novella. One main theme that they both have in common is “the fascination of the abomination” (Conrad, 7). Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now explore the theme of “the fascination of the abomination” through the setting of imperialism. Some of the other themes include the perception of the interior and exterior being; moral ambiguity set throughout the story; and the hypocrisy of imperialism. Despite some of the difference in settings the two stories present, they are still …show more content…
It is unclear on what is presented as wrong or right to the characters in the film and novella as they have go deeper with their fascination of the abomination. In Heart of Darkness, for example, the abuse and violence towards the African natives is justified as civilizing them. In Apocalypse Now, the merciless behavior towards the people in Vietnam is generally accepted because of the war’s situation during the time. The motif used to represent the ambiguity of what is right and what is wrong is represented by the fog. The fog distorts Marlow’s view around the steamboat and he cannot see the path clearly. Fog is also seen in Apocalypse Now, but can also be seen as the smoke surrounding the soldiers from the gunfire. For example, there is a scene where the camera angles from a low standpoint towards Kilgore, Lance, and Willard. In the background, gunfire smoke fill the scene and may represent the obscure reason the soldiers are there. The low angle give the soldiers a dominating image. Moral ambiguity provides support to the concept of trying to view an interior through an unclear exterior that distorts what is true. This is involved in the process of having a fascination of the …show more content…
Another way the theme is seen is through many of the characters. The theme is applied to the pilgrims in the first imperialistic view explained. Then, it is applied to Marlow through his desire to face Kurtz. This is not to definitively say that Kurtz is evil, but in Marlow’s perception, Kurtz is someone who is has survived the worst. This may explain Marlow’s desire to confront him and be able to see for himself what has come out of a man that is surviving in those conditions. This is also similar to Willard’s situation with Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. The theme of “the fascination of the abomination” is seen to be associated with Kurtz in the both stories. In Heart of Darkness, Marlow states Kurtz possible condition by explaining “-the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate” (Conrad, 7). This statement represents that although Kurtz went in with the fascination of trying to civilize the natives and obtain ivory in the process, he realizes the horror of this process but cannot seem to leave Africa due to his realization of himself and of society. In Apocalypse Now, Kurtz has a highly favorable reputation but goes rogue and legally insane after getting himself deeper into the Vietnam

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