Coppala's "Apocalypse Now" and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" Analytical Essay by Neatwriter

Coppala's "Apocalypse Now" and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"
This paper compares the character Captain Kurtz from Francis Ford Coppala's film "Apocalypse Now" and the character Mr. Kurtz of Joseph Conrad's book "Heart of Darkness," which inspired the film.
# 60270 | 870 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2005 | US
Published on Aug 15, 2005 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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This paper explains that the mission of Captain Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now" was embarked upon because a supposedly good government led him to the jungle, rather than an avowedly rapacious company as in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," making 'the horror' of what occurs even sharper to the viewer as well as to the captain. It points out that Captain Kurtz thus seems more sympathetic in the film, as opposed to the novel's Mr. Kurtz. The author shows how the movie scene, with the grotesquely deployed human body parts, highlights the inability of the native population, whom Kurtz has been sent to help, to understand the Americans; in contrast, the heads upon the poles by Conrad's Mr. Kurtz merely stresses the dark brutality of the African continent and Kurtz's willingness to make use of native techniques of warfare to enact psychological control over his populace. The paper relates that the madness of Marlon Brando's Captain Kurtz becomes a symptom of the madness of the Vietnam war rather than an act or symptom of a supposed leader's private psychological disintegration as in the book.

From the Paper:

"Marlow finds Mr. Kurtz in an obscure location in the interior. Human heads mounted on poles surround Kurtz. But unlike "Apocalypse Now," which also has a scene featuring human body parts, grotesquely deployed, Captain Kurtz's heads were not won in a hypocritical attempt to improve the populace. Mr. Kurtz used them to establish his domination and control over fearful and cowering natives. In contrast, Coppala's Captain Kurtz, although calcified in his heart, and turned brutal and mad by the events he has witnessed, shows a more compassionate side to Willard when the two men discuss Coppala's even more horrific scene of native, human dismemberment."

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