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

Comparative Essay Heart of Darkness vs Apocalyspe Now

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Evil Lives as Morality Dies: A Comparative Essay on Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now "Evil runs faster than death" is a famous quote by Socrates in which he commentates on the depths of evil and depravity which men can sink to in trying to dodge death. Evil and death are two respective conclusions that are inevitable to all men; all men are faced with the decision of falling prey to one or the other. This decision is exemplified in the plot of both Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and its movie counterpart - Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola. The European/American characters in the plot are all put in a situation which forces them to either abandon their morality and sink into evil, or die because they are unwilling or unable to adapt to the savage moral climate. Ultimately, the portrayal of this choice reveals the opinion that those who succumb to evil rather than accept death are weak and worthless men, while those who attempt to defy death by choosing to resist evil such - as the Kurtz'es and the protagonists, are noble. In Heart of Darkness, the characters' choices are between savagery and death by disease. ...read more.

Middle

The ones who succumb to evil will not become ill, whereas those who do not will die from the sickness. In Apocalypse Now, Kilgore's inhumanity is shown in a poignant scene where he appears to sympathize with a man who is literally holding his entrails in his hands by giving him water, but forgets about him the moment he hears a celebrity has landed on his camp. His madness is shown by his grossly exaggerated fascination with surfing - he orders his men to surf on a beach when there is still a fight going on, eliciting disbelief from Willard and his crew who are still sane. Yet, Kilgore is portrayed as a successful and loved leader, it is the very madness and inhumanity that has raised him to the rank of commanding officer, much like the Manager in Heart of Darkness. Their awareness of their own invulnerability is also paralleled, as shown when Kilgore does not even duck when he hears a shell approaching him (in the scene where Willard, his crew and Kilgore all land on a battlefield beachfront), safe in the belief that he will "come out of the war without a scratch" - exactly how the manager is impervious to the jungle's deadly diseases. ...read more.

Conclusion

This difference is superficial in terms of the effect on the plot and themes, but it reveals the differences in the expectations the authors have of their audience's interests - modern filmgoers much more appreciative of a spectacle for the eyes rather than a spectacle for the imagination. Ultimately, the Kurtz's of both works are portrayed as heroes in their demise - having explored both sides of the choice between of evil and death they choose death rather than losing their humanity and morality. In conclusion, both Heart of Darkness and its more modern film counterpart Apocalypse Now deal heavily with the choice between Evil and Death, a philosophical idea first proposed by Socrates. The parallels between these two dissimilar yet related works lie in both the many men who surround the protagonists in the story, specific leaders among the Europeans/Americans and the quasi-villain of the stories - Kurtz. This theme that both works follows is used to express Socrates's opinion that death is a preferable choice to losing one's morality, and those who decide on the reverse of weak willed and pitiful individuals. It is a profound idea, important enough that authors of two different time periods both thought it necessary to include such deliberate features of it in their work. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Portrayal of colonisers and the colonised in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness

    3 star(s)

    Meanwhile the white man is being described like this " I took him for a sort of vision. I saw a high starched collar, white cuffs, I light alpaca jacket, snowy trousers, a clear necktie, and varnished boots. No hat.

  2. Extended Essay

    Her yerde her durumda her seye karsi g�sterdikleri bir iddianin durusuydu"(YT, s.13) der. 3. B�L�M: Yazarlarin karakterleriyle ve onlarin yasadiklari olaylara kurduklari iliski yazarlarin cinsiyetlerine ve �nyargilarina baglidir. Ayse Kulin, Adi Aylin romaninin baskahramani Aylin'i hayattaki durusu ile takdir eder ve bu y�n�yle y�celtip kahramani olarak se�erken, Mungan da Y�ksek

  1. Persuasive essay on Racism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

    He does not even think of them as human beings at all. He shows his apprehension of the Africans through Marlow and how Marlow treats these characters, by not naming them and using them as crew workers on the boat, not even as actual passengers.

  2. Women in Heart of Darkness Essay. There are only three relatively minor female characters ...

    The third female character, Kurtz's African mistress, is briefly mentioned two times near the end of the novel. She appears while Marlow is talking to the Russian, and the Russian growls at her and says she makes mischief. "She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading

  1. Kafka vs Gogol Crossing of the Boundaries in The Metamorphosis and The Nose: a ...

    Gregor simply accepts his tragedy in a humble and a submissive way. He is hiding away and self-reflecting, but continues to think only about his family. However, life around him changes dramatically. He is no longer loved and needed. This leads to unexpected revelations, a breakthrough in his understanding of family relations and to a final epiphany.

  2. A Lesson Before Dying essay

    Jefferson's newly found dignity confounds white expectations that he will die as he has lived, an ignorant hog. By the end of the novel, Jefferson understands that by dying like a man, he will defy the society that wrongfully accused him and convicted him not just of murder, but also of being African American.

  1. "The Plague" and "Beloved" comparative essay

    This pulls readers to become narrators and piece the puzzle in any way he/she pleases, not only making the book more interesting, but also allows readers to share with one another their different interpretations. By doing that, people cannot argue with one another as to how the story should have ended as everyone's thoughts can be correct.

  2. A Glorious Morning, Comrade contains humour, yet You Are Now Entering The Human Heart ...

    Pit-Rimmer was not interested to listen to his daughter at all, but instead was planning his next escape instead. The older generation may need people to look after them, but they are not necessarily weak and useless. Their mind may be still active.

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