Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, revealed in 1902 is a story about a steamer journey up the Congo River and likewise into the darkest reaches of the human psyche. This novella has been appropriated to the “ground-breaking masterpiece”1 ‘Apocalypse Now’ directed by Francis Ford Coppola and launched in 1979 in which a soldier must journey into the war-stricken Vietnam to execute a soldier gone insane. These two texts, though belonging to completely different genres, carry the common themes of darkness and imperialism.
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This report shall show how the differing contexts of these texts have influenced the themes, and in addition how the authors have used relevant strategies to level out this.
Context Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness was set in a interval through the colonial period when many European countries had been laying claim to sections of Africa. An space known as the Belgium Congo was drawing critical international scrutiny over the outrageous treatment of many natives. King Leopold II of Belgium was a cruel ruler, not caring in regards to the welfare of the natives.
Leopold drained the Congo of any useful resource of worth. In explicit, pure rubber had turn into a priceless commodity. Leopold enslaved the natives, using homicide and mutilation as punishment for these villagers who did not supply their quota of rubber. Heads and arms were minimize off and ladies held hostage had been brutalised and raped. Joseph Conrad in his life had been sufferer to a brutal regime. His father was a revolutionist fighting for Poland’s freedom from the Russians. Joseph was raised in a spot of hard and cruel circumstances, and watched the deterioration of his mom to tuberculosis.
Yet at the similar time he wholeheartedly embraced the English tradition and language, turning into a grasp author of the English language. There is little question that the early years of Conrad’s life would have affected his views towards colonialism. Yet, Conrad would have been influenced by the racisms of the nineteenth century. Conrad wrote in a first hand account in regards to the first time he noticed a black man: “[An] enormous buck nigger encountered in Haiti mounted my conception of blind, furious, unreasoning rage.
“2 Chinua Achebe believes this shows Conrad’s antipathy to black people, no doubt an element that would affect Conrad’s writing. The state of colonialism within the Congo, along with Joseph Conrad’s upbringing and views on racism are no doubt influencing factors on the themes of the novel. All this has come together when Conrad became sailor on the Congo River. It was on the Congo River that Conrad wrote about his experiences, but hated the Congo in the lengthy run as he had fallen victim to severe sickness. With these factors, Heart of Darkness started to emerge. Apocalypse Now
‘Apocalypse Now’ is set approximately 70 years after Heart of Darkness, and despite the fact that the contexts differ the themes are very related. The movie is ready in Vietnam through the Vietnam War of 1959-75. It is Vietnam’s history that influences this struggle. During the events of Heart of Darkness, Vietnam was colonised by the French, yet by 1949, Vietnam was looking for independence. The communist Vietnamese of the north fought a war with the French that lasted to 1954 until the defeat of the French. After this defeat, America intervened in Vietnam’s affairs to stop the unfold of communism by establishing democracy in the south.
This was adopted by the Vietnam War between the south and north, the south supported by the US, and the north by China. The Vietnam War drew giant amounts of criticism from the international neighborhood. Journalists, whose articles weren’t censored, introduced horrific photographs of the warfare back to the American residents. One such picture was that of a Vietnamese lady running by way of the streets of her village covered in napalm that had burned her pores and skin off. It is these horrifying images of the Vietnam War that Coppola reproduces in ‘Apocalypse Now’.