- Sep 2016
The glimpse of the steamboat had for some reason filled those savages with un-restrained grief.
I researched the similarities between Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, since the movie is said to be based off of the book, and I found that there is essentially two things in common. First, there is a character named Kurtz in both stories. Second, the representation of the natives was almost identical, even though they were from two different places. The natives in Apocalypse Now are exactly like Conrad described them in Heart of Darkness. However, the natives were much more savage in the movie, as you can see in the photo I've attached of them about to slaughter a cow. Other than that, the book and the movie are completely different.
They had started two days before in a sudden hurry up the river with the manager on board, in charge of some volun-teer skipper, and before they had been out three hours they tore the bottom out of her on stones, and she sank near the south bank.
I think the purpose behind using names such as "the manager" is to keep the reader from developing any attachment or any way to connect with these characters, as well as a way for Marlowe to not really associate himself. It's easier for people to disassociate themselves when there isn't a name or a face connected to the person, so Marlowe doesn't have to connect with someone who is treating the natives as savages.
But there was in it one riv-er especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land.
When doing research for the presentation I found out that Conrad had grown up in a religious family but wasn't exactly religious himself. I think he describes the river as a snake, and continues to throughout the book to symbolize how humans are tempted and evil to one another, and how the white men are treating the natives as though they are savages.
Hadn’t he said he wanted only justice? But I couldn’t. I could not tell her. It would have been too dark—too dark altogether....’
In this passage, Marlow decides it is better to lie about what Kurtz's actual last words were ("the horror, the horror!"), in place of telling his mistress they were "[her] name".
This is interesting, in that just earlier he was extremely prejudiced against his fellow countrymen for "not possibly [knowing] the things [he] knew", just because they had not seen what he had seen. Yet now, he feels it would be too dark for him to tell Kurtz's mistress the truth, and instead lies. It is likely this guilt only adds another dark and gloomy change onto his already cynical personality after his experiences.
I found myself back in the sepulchral city resenting the sight of people hurrying through the streets to filch a little money from each other, to devour their infamous cookery, to gulp their unwhole-some beer, to dream their insignificant and silly dreams. They trespassed upon my thoughts. They were intruders whose knowledge of life was to me an irritating pretence, because I felt so sure they could not possibly know the things I knew. Their bearing, which was simply the bear-ing of commonplace individuals going about their business in the assurance of perfect safety, was offensive to me like the outrageous flauntings of folly in the face of a danger it is unable to comprehend. I had no particular desire to en-lighten them, but I had some difficulty in restraining myself from laughing in their faces so full of stupid importance.
In this passage, Marlow finds himself back in Europe, from whence he came, but with a different outlook. He has developed a sort of superiority complex, stating that they could "not possibly know the things I knew", and how he "had some difficulty in restraining [himself] from laughing in their faces so full of stupid importance". He has been changed by his experiences in a foreign land, but they made him worse, not better. In the place of his joyous excitement that triggered his departure, he now has cynical condescension and a dark sadness about him.
On another note, this is an example of the Hero's Journey Trope, in which a main character departs from his familiar land, has adventures and survives in the unfamiliar land, and then returns to his familiar land with new knowledge and character change(TV Tropes). http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heros_journey4_8462.png
"The Hero's Journey - TV Tropes." TV Tropes. N.p., 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 01 Sept. 2016.