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Unformatted text preview: Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness Inherent inside every human soul is a savage evil side that remains repressed by society. Often this evil side breaks out during times of isolation from our culture, and whenever one culture confronts another. History is loaded with examples of atrocities that have occurred when one culture comes into contact with another. Whenever fundamentally different cultures meet, there is often a fear of contamination and loss of self that leads us to discover more about our true selves, often causing perceived madness by those who have yet to discover. The Puritans left Europe in hopes of finding a new world to welcome them and their beliefs. What they found was a vast new world, loaded with Indian cultures new to them. This overwhelming cultural interaction caused some Puritans to go mad and try to purge themselves of a perceived evil. This came to be known as the Salem witch trials. During World War II, Germany made an attempt to overrun Europe. What happened when the Nazis came into power and persecuted the Jews in Germany, Austria and Poland is well known as the Holocaust. Here, humanís evil side provides one of the scariest occurrences of this century. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi counterparts conducted raids of the ghettos to locate and often exterminate any Jews they found. Although Jews are the most widely known victims of the Holocaust, they were not the only targets. When the war ended, 6 million Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists, and others targeted by the Nazis, had died in the Holocaust. Most of these deaths occurred in gas chambers and mass shootings. This gruesome attack was motivated mainly by the fear of cultural intermixing which would impurify the "Master Race." Joseph Conradís book, The Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppolaís movie, Apocalypse Now are both stories about Manís journey into his self, and the discoveries to be made there. They are also about Man confronting his fears of failure, insanity, death, and cultural contamination. During Marlowís mission to find Kurtz, he is also trying to find himself. He, like Kurtz had good intentions upon entering the Congo. Conrad tries to show us that Marlow is what Kurtz had been, and Kurtz is what Marlow could become. Every human has a little of Marlow and Kurtz in them. Marlow says about himself, "I was getting savage (Conrad)," meaning that he was becoming more like Kurtz. Along the trip into the wilderness, they discover their true selves through contact with savage natives. As Marlow ventures further up the Congo, he feels like he is traveling back through time. He sees the unsettled wilderness and can feel the darkness of itís solitude. Marlow comes across simpler cannibalistic cultures along the banks....
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2008 for the course PP 315 taught by Professor Shew during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.
- Spring '08
- Heart of Darkness, Darkness, Marlow, Kurtz, Jungle, Crew