• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's Apocalypse Now, both being examples of journeys that interlace a physical concept to a spiritual one.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In some cases a journey could prove to be a pivotal event in life. Spiritual and physical journeys can lie completely apart, or they can entwine to produce a complete different dimension of experience. Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's Apocalypse Now are both examples of journeys that interlace a physical concept to a spiritual one. Conrad's writing style provides several literary techniques to explore concepts of journey, whereas Coppola uses various film techniques. Conrad's Heart of Darkness expresses the journey of a steamboat captain, Marlow, through the Congo. Coextending to this physical expedition is Marlow's impending spiritual journey, and this consequential 'journey into the soul' eventuates due to the physical journey. To exemplify this, Conrad often interweaves the two concepts together, "you lost your way on that river... till you thought yourself bewitched and cut off...from everything you had known once..." (pg33) Marlow's physical expedition permeates itself into his mind and instigates a whole new spiritual journey. The isolation and regression from 'everything he had known once' refers to Marlow's diminution of influences from his European lifestyle and culture -forthcoming with the journey to discover and ascertain his true self, remote from all European influences. Marlow's anxiety towards his journey is exemplified when Conrad appoints the technique of foreshadowing to indicate the nature of the journey; "could we handle that dumb thing, or would it handle us?" ...read more.

Middle

Kurtz however, cannot retrieve himself, "The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness...as Kurtz's life was running swiftly too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time." (pg68) The use of metaphors and analogous language explicates that the further Marlow and the others depart in the physical journey, the less the likelihood of Marlow obtaining a deleterious soul. However, inversely, the further Kurtz proceeds away from his physical journey, the 'heart of darkness' he entitled to himself - the sooner he faces his cessation. He had desecrated his soul, gratified his monstrous passions to the extent where he would now allow his journey to have a path back. This concept is elucidated in the analogy that he had "kicked himself from the earth...he had kicked the very earth to pieces.." (pg66). And so the end of Kurtz's journey occurs, his final words being "The horror! The horror!" (pg69). He seemingly passed judgement on his actions and life, his 'journey' and he deemed it to be horrid. By the end of his journey, Marlow has an altered perception of life. We see that through this spiritual journey he has gained the ability to understand reasons for barbarous actions; a suggestion that it is only through experience and such a journey, that one could ever understand how and why the mind can turn into such a truculent, repugnant thing. ...read more.

Conclusion

As he sees Kurtz, the music begins to play rapidly to produce anticipation. It is a ritualistic slaughter, with constant cuts to a scene of vicious sacrificial killing of a water buffalo by the natives, insinuating Kurtz as a false deity, having an erroneous journey. He is deservingly being slaughtered like an animal, sacrificed back to his jungle. Kurtz's last words are "The Horror, The horror." Here we perceive an acceptance of iniquity in a human's soul, the 'horror' that can arise when a man delves into his soul, and depraves it through attempts to monopolise it. As Willard exits from slaughtering Kurtz, he has been established as the native's 'new deity'. Undershot camera angles endorse Willard's superior status, his face is smeared in mud and his body is profaned with blood. The music is disturbing (producing an anticipative mood) as he progressively walks through the sea of people. There is the prospect of Willard continuing in Kurtz's footsteps. However, he advances to his boat. It was through this journey that he was able to comprehend Kurtz's actions. But Willard himself did not falter over the edge into insanity. The journeys in this case show us that placed into the right scenarios, there does sleep a suppressed greed and insanity in every soul that has the chance to escape if delved into. However, as we can see from Marlow and Willard's examples, this can be understood and the unleashing of such evil can be avoided. Coppola and Conrad both used their techniques to show this concept and those concepts relating to it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Joseph Conrad essays

  1. Explore how the authors present the 'darkness' of the human heart and the savagery ...

    Marlow remarks that Kurtz' head is as bald as an ivory ball and that he resembles "an animated image of death carved out of old ivory." Thereby reflecting the degradation into something so far removed from what he had been when he had first begun his journey.

  2. How does Conrad present the company and Marlow's attitude towards its representatives? "Heart of ...

    He almost formulates a list of criticism about him, "He had no genius for organising, for initiative, or of the station". He uses the similes "his glance fall on one as trenchant and heavy as an axe." Conrad's use of these similes implies the force and the weight of this

  1. How does the preparation for the river journey at the start of Heart of ...

    This is said as they both wanted to go to the wilderness but Marlow restrained himself and said the work saved him. Were as Kurtz didn't show restraint and turned to the Wilderness. In the early section of the novel Kurtz can be linked to the decent young citizen in

  2. Apocalypse Now Appropriation of Heart of Darkness

    With these factors, Heart of Darkness started to emerge. Apocalypse Now 'Apocalypse Now' is set approximately 70 years after Heart of Darkness, and even though the contexts differ the themes are very similar. The film is set in Vietnam during the Vietnam War of 1959-75.

  1. Is Joseph Conrad a Racist?

    Therefore if Conrad is at times sound racist, it is because those codes and conventions of his time were racist. Howbeit there are times at which he mercilessly satirises the Africans. " A black figure stood up, strode on black legs waving long black arms..."

  2. Comparing "The Darkness Out There" by Penelope Lively, with "The Black Veil" by Charles ...

    They include suspense at peaks of tension when either new characters are introduced or things are learned. They also both have fluctuating tension as in both stories it goes up and down to keep us reading. However the 'Darkness Out There' has more fluctuating tension than 'The Black Veil'.

  1. Joseph Conrad - author review

    More than that, it is wonderful to realize that we are too savage, in the same way that these primitive people are, but we manage to conceal our savagery. It is ironic, what is dark in the darkness of Africa is not the land itself or the people, but it

  2. Discuss The Title Of Conrad's Novel 'Heart Of Darkness'.

    Meanwhile, this is constantly contradicted and contrasted with the references to the "gloom" which emphasizes the darkness and all this symbolises in London. This builds up a dark feel, and a mysterious yet relaxed tone, leaving the audience a bit confused as to which description or meaning they should be believing.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work