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When one reads the novel Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, and watches the movie "Apocalypse Now," common parallels will be found.

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Introduction

When one reads the novel Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, and watches the movie "Apocalypse Now," common parallels will be found. Characterizations, themes, and symbolism remain mostly the same while the plot is changed. The main characters in the novel, Marlow, and in the movie, Willard, when compared to the main character from the novel The Stranger, by Albert Camus, Meursault, similarities and differences can be found. The contrast and commonness between Joseph Conrad's novel and the movie help on to understand different ways of dealing with the situations when thinking of the previous novel by Camus, and how Meursault may have acted. The characterization in both the novel Heart of Darkness and the movie "Apocalypse Now" are mostly the same. The main characters represent the same person in the same situations although the names are different. In the novel Marlow was "a seaman...but a wanderer too" (pg. 67). In the movie Willard is a Captain in the army. Both, the novel and the movie, have the character of Kurtz. . In the novel Kurtz is a Colonel while in the novel he is a trader. Kurtz is depicted as a higher being, almost like a god, with his disciples (Apocalypse Now). ...read more.

Middle

Both the novel and the movie have symbols that they share and have different. In both, the river is the journey to one's inner self. It is the path that is taken to see what one really is (pg. 71). Another shared symbol is Kurtz. Kurtz is omniscient, a god. He is looked up to, as if he is a higher being that must be worshipped (pg. 127). Africa and Vietnam, although different places, represent the same thing in the movie and the novel. They represent darkness, horror, and the things that are unknown, that everyone is afraid of (pg. 67). There were symbols that the novel had and the movie did not. Ivory in the novel stood for greed. It showed just how greedy a person can be and that the white, European people, thought about what they wanted and not about other people (pg. 84). Although there were few appearances or references of greed in the movie, it did not really prove to be a symbol for anything. Also, the white men represented European ideas, technology. The white men's dreams were what were wanted to be passed to the savages, but it was not always able to happen (pg. 67). A symbol in the movie and not in the novel was the tiger. The tiger was hidden, and unknown. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the helmsman/Chief was killed, Marlow cared and showed affection. He wanted to bury him. Willard seemed as if he wanted nothing to do with him and the surfer on the ship was the one that buried him. Meursault would not have cared that the man died, especially since he showed no emotion when his own mother died (s: pg. 2). I believe that Meursault would have listened to Kurtz as did Willard and Marlow. Meursault wouldn't really care about what was being said, but he would have listened some. As Kurtz' words ended up haunting Willard and Marlow, I believe that that would not happen to Meursault. Meursault is an existentialist who only showed that he cared about himself. He wouldn't let someone else's words affect him. The novel Heart of Darkness ,by Joseph Conrad, and the movie "Apocalypse Now" are similar in most of the characterization, themes and symbols, but it differs in plot. Although the authors display the same message throughout both, there are differences that can be pointed out. The main characters from the novel and the book can be compared with Meursault from The Stranger. It can be believed that Meursault would have acted the same as these characters in some situations but differently in others. These two books and the film are inter-linked by the main characters by their similarities and their differences. ...read more.

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