Comparing Heart of Darkness of Joseph Conrad with the movie "Apocalypse Now!" by Coppola

Essay by steve_gelvinHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 2003

download word file, 6 pages 4.3

Downloaded 142 times

Appreciating The Equivalence

Ironically, although Coppola wanted to draw the greatness of the

film from the greatness of the novel, the section most like Heart of

Darkness is the weakest because he makes the rather romantic


Francis Ford Coppola, the screenwriter of the film Apocalypse Now, made the film "loosely based on Joseph Conrad's harrowing short story, Heart of Darkness"(Wallace). However, the overview of the film is totally different from the context in the novella. The whole movie takes place during the Vietnam War in the year 1979 while the book sets off during the Belgian colonialism in early 1900s. Willard, equivalent to Marlow, kills Kurtz at the end while Marlow tries to save him. It was said that he wanted to show his own interpretations of the book via his distinct story. However, in those contrasts, which we can easily perceive from his distinct Apocalypse Now, there are a great many similarities, the success of his interpretations, contradicting the quote above.

If we look through deeper meanings in every detail of the film as well as the novella, we can find that both the novella and the film convey the same symbols and perspectives at the same, specific parts of the works. We come to understand that both works unfold their stories chronologically similarly from the first part until the end.

At the first part of both stories, both Ivory Trade and Vietnam War equivalently represent the first conflict the protagonists will experience through their journeys. Both Ivory Trade and Vietnam War signify the man's evil nature. Ivory trade in the novella symbolizes the greed of the whites to exploit the Dark, "unexplored" lands in every way possible regardless of the environment. The whites go deep into the woods to slaughter a number of elephants...