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Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now - Essay Example

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Summary
The central character, Marlow, witnesses the atrocities inflicted on the Africans by the imperialists. Similarly, Apocalypse Now takes…
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Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now

Download file to see previous pages... Both the works tend to depict the way civilization finds itself alienated in the wilderness.
In broad terms, the main similarity between the works is seen in the way the so-called civilized people have got an uncivilized primitive in them that comes out when they reach the wilderness even for a short period of time. For example, in the Heart of Darkness, Marlow first sees the shores of Africa with a sense of fear and dislike. As Marlow travels into the jungle, he develops the feeling that he was getting savage. Thus, as Kesselring states, one gets the idea that the man still possesses the primordial urge to be the same barbaric humans of the jungle; for example, Marlow describes a Kurtz who is free from any restraints, and who unleashes his primordial urge to kill and to enjoy total freedom. There Marlow sees a large number of heads displayed on posts that shows the kind of primitive life Kurtz lived (24-25).
Here, it is worth trying to identify the reason behind the madness of both the Kurtz, and there comes the startling realization that it is the result of their inability to come into terms with the native culture and lifestyle. For example, in the movie, one can see a Kurtz telling Willard about the Special Forces going into the village inoculating the children for polio, followed by the visit of communists who cut children’s inoculated hands off. This basic and barbaric wilderness makes Kurtz insane, and soon, he becomes a savage himself.
In total, one can say that in both the cases, there is the tendency to show that the European-African and American-Vietnam conflicts symbolize the conflict between the civilized and the savage. In both the cases, there is the realization that civilization is the result of the complex web of rules, regulations and codes of conduct that the modern societies have developed. In addition is the acceptance that there is a savage in every civilized human being. Thirdly, in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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