Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Hypocrisy of Western Imperialism Apocalypse Now continually spotlights the ironies that accompanied the Vietnam War in particular and western imperialism in general. The film is not overtly antiwar, but it takes pains to reveal the atrocities of a war fought by the United States in the name of democracy and freedom.
While some critics found the film belabored and muddled, most agreed that it was a powerful and important examination not only of America's military involvement in Vietnam, but like Conrad 's novel, a disturbing treatment of the darkness potentially inherent in all human hearts.
As the film's title suggests, Coppola explores the ways in which the metaphorical "darkness" of Vietnam causes an apocalypse in the hearts of those sent there to fight. Coppola retained the basic structure of Conrad's novel for his film. As Heart of Darkness follows Marlow 's journey through the different Company stations and eventually upriver to KurtzCoppola's film moves in an analogous way.
The protagonist is an Army Captain Willard who receives his orders, gathers his crew, and creeps up the Nung River until he meets and assassinates a renegade soldier Col. Both the Company and the Army want their "Kurtzes" dead, because both Kurtzes detest and expose their superiors' motives and methods.
Their willingness to go all the way terrifies their superiors, who do not want to be so blatantly reminded of their real goals ivory in the Heart of Darkness and power in Apocalypse Now and methods of attaining them.
Like Conrad's Company, Coppola's Army is a disorganized band of men whose hypocrisy is questioned by the central characters. As the Company masquerades as a philanthropic and humane institution bringing "light" to Africa recall Kurtz's paintingthe Army as embodied by General Corman and Colonel Lucas, the men who give Willard his mission pretends to be greatly disturbed by the fact that Col.
Kurtz has broken from their command and begun fighting the war in his own way. The Army has charged Col. Kurtz with the murder of four Vietnamese double agents, which is the ostensible reason why they want to "terminate" his command.
Walter Kurtz has obviously reached his. As Marlow's jaunt to Africa becomes much more to him than an adventure, so does Willard's mission to kill Col.
Kurtz become more than an order: Willard, like Marlow, becomes more perceptive to the moral darkness around him as the film proceeds.
An important difference between these characters, however, is that Willard begins the film as a man already accustomed to the "horror" around him. The opening shots of the film reveal Willard in a Saigon hotel; on his nightstand is a gun he has already considered suicide and he explains, in a voice-over, that he was unable to adjust to life in the United States after his first tour of duty.
Coppola then presents the viewer with a montage of Willard screaming, crying, and smashing a mirror to show how desperately Willard needs a mission to give his life some purpose. Another difference is that Marlow wanted to explore "the blank places" on a map to satisfy his thirst for adventure, but Willard needs a mission so that he doesn't become as he fears "weaker.
Kurtz poses to the Army deserves further investigation.
Like Conrad's Kurtz, he was a "prodigy": Willard also learns that Kurtz organized a covert operation "Archangel" without the permission of his superiors — an operation which might have brought him court-martial, but instead earned him a promotion to Colonel once the news of it was made public.
As the war continued, Kurtz kept winning battles and becoming stronger — and it was this strength that made him threatening to the Army, just as Conrad's Kurtz who brings in more ivory than all other stations combined unnerves the Manager.
Just as "All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz" in that he embodied many of the Europeans' values about the White man's power over the natives, so has "all America" contributed to the making of Col.
Kurtz — a man who once personified the traditional American values of strength and valor, but who became — once he glimpsed the darkness of war — someone who could not uphold the hypocrisy of which he was once a major part.
Continued on next pageA summary of Themes in 's Apocalypse Now. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Apocalypse Now and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Famous because of it's troubled shoot, Francis Coppolla's "Apocalypse Now" debuted in and went on to win two Academy Awards. Since it's release, it's been regarded as one of the best motion pictures ever.
Coppola had regarded the film as a "work in progress" and in , he released. Although spaced more than eighty years apart, focusing on entirely different events, in different parts of the world, Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’, and Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’, both address strikingly similar issues, and present identical questions in relation to Imperialism and the human condition.
"Apocalypse Now Redux: Heart of Darkness Moves into New Territory." Literature/Film Quarterly (): This essay was useful because it reiterated the long-held yet erroneous belief that Apocalypse Now represents a direct continuation of Conrad's criticism of imperialism. Apocalypse Now Redux Essay.
Description Apocalypse Now is an American film originally released in (Wikipedia n.p.) - Apocalypse Now Redux Essay introduction.
Its script has been inspired the classic novel of Joseph Conrad, which is entitled, “Heart of Darkness” (Wikipedia n.p.). Even though Apocalypse Now Redux is a work of fiction, the concept of basing a story around a heroic figure is a staple of literature in our culture.
Real people who act in a heroic manner will continue to inspire such stories.