Lying Corrupts Both the Giver and the Receiver
-The introduction to the three works of art and their editors. Thefilm titledApocalypse Now directed by Francis Ford Copolla,the Book by the title the Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conradand the poem: the hollow man written by T.S Eliot.
-The three pieces of art are related. The HollowMen, the book,and the films disguised references. The lines on the Hollow Menarelocated in the film Apocalypse Now.
-The Apocalypse Nowuses Eliot’s piece of work to emphasizethe theme on morality depletion.
-The first article in the text to depict moral depletion issymbolized by use of smoke. Conrad uses smoke in the Heart OfDarknessto illustrate the uncertainty of the characters morals.
-Coppola uses a scene with smog in Apocalypse Now toillustrate the uncertainty of the characters towards executing theirplans of colonization.
-The second article in the text to depict moral depletion is themadness of the converted natives
The heightened deterioration of morals causes madness upon thecharacters.The moral values are questionable as per the HollowMen.
-Coppola and Conrad expose the theme of madness. Madness in thetextis illustrated using Helmsman by giving him animalistic values.
-Coppola uses a conversation between Willard and Chief to indicatehow the deterioration of moral values results into madness.
-The third article in the text to depict moral depletion is theattacks of the imperialists by the natives. The attack indicates thenatives notion that the imperialists did not mean well for their landand serves as a proof of questionable morality.
There is resemblance of themes in the book titled the Heart ofDarkness, the poem about the Hollow Men and the film onthe Apocalypse Now. The first key theme is the questioning ofhuman morality. The characters morality becomes uncertain to both theimperialists and the converted natives. Specifically, theimperialists develop uncertainty regarding the morality ofcolonization. The uncertainty later spreads to the converted nativeswho question their aid in the colonisation of their compatriots.Inthe Heart of Darkness, the first two lines of theHollowmen, ‘he dead’ and ‘a penny for the old guy’rhyme to the character of Kurtz. Besides, Eliot’s choice of wordsin the Hollow Men seems to refer to the characters of thenovel such as Marlow. Specifically, they illustrate how to questionthe morals of the characters in the book (Watts 45).
The first article in the text to depict moral deterioration is aboutthe natives’ uncertainty. Specifically, they are uncertain aboutthe possible distortion of their moral values by working for theimperialist forces. For example, the natives are unsure about Kurtzwho represents the extremities of imperialism.In addition, the textreflects the uncertainty of the imperialists about completing theirimperialistic tasks. The uncertainty is represented by using thesymbol of fog and smoke in the film and the text respectively. Inthe film, the effect of smog is presented vividly due to the visualadvantages provided by the film. Although the use of smog does notmake it more efficient, both literatures use the symbols to augmentthe effectiveness of the meaning of the episode (Apocalypse Now 1).
In the Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses smoke that appears inthe ship upon its attack by the natives. The travellers opened theirrifles towards the bush where arrows were coming from. A cloud ofsmoke came up and drove gently forward. Smoke is used by Conrad as asymbol of the distorting reaction that had a ripple effect,specifically, on Marlow’s moral senses. The text describes thesmoke as being produced by the rifle. The guns indicate the violentand out-dated nature of the approach by imperialists. The scene laterconfirms that the blur occurring in Marlow’s vision is causedbyimperialism. Consequently, Marlow is depicted to direct the boatblindly to symbolize how undecided he felt about his colonizationmotives. It symbolizes that Marlow was not sure of his morality(Watts, 46).
In the film, Coppola uses a similar scene but instead of smoke, heuses smog for the same purpose as that in the Heart of Darkness.In the scene, fog appears to cover the whole screen, and it gentlyclears to reveal Willard who is the main character that depicts thedistortion of moral values. Coppola shows how the smog covers thewhole boat to illustrate the uncertain nature of Willard’s thoughtsand views (Apocalypse Now 1).
The second article in the text to depict the theme of moraldeterioration is the madness of the characters. Conrad, in the Heartof Darkness, indicates madness in Helmsman immediately after theattack of the natives. Helmsman is depicted to descent into madnessthrough his actions while his hands are on the spokes. His descentinto madness is caused by the fact that he is a native that convertedto imperialism and he becomes mad on his attempt to cope.Specifically, he is said to be lifting his knees high clamping hismouth and stamping his feet like a reined horse (Watts 56).
Besides, Conrad gives Helmsman animalistic qualities to emphasizethat his mad reactions are visible. Marlowconfirms Helmsman’sinsanity by contrasting Helmsman and the natives. Specifically,Marlow says, ‘looking past the mad Helmsman, he was shaking theempty rifle while yelling looking at the shore. I saw unclear formsof men running bent double, leaping distinct, incomplete evanescent.”First, Marlow’s description clarifies the theme for the reader.Besides, his description of Helmsman serves as a critic ofimperialism that wrapped Helmsman (Watts 58).
Similarly, in the film, madness is depicted by using the dialogue ofChief to Willard. Chief divulges his anxiety at the commencement ofthe scene. Specifically, he tells the captain, “I can`t see athing, Captain. I am going to stop the boat. I cannot fathom riskingmore lives.” The failure of Willard to give details to Chiefregarding where they are going, makes Chief fall into madness.Specifically, he could not believe that Willard’s imperialisticplan was so weird to the extent that the leader himself lacked a clueabout where they were destined to go. Consequently, Chief concludesthat Willard’s actions and imperialistic orders are hopeless. Thescene is used strategically to emphasize Chiefs insanity. The passageof bright skies upon Chief emphasizes that there was lack of calmnessin Chief’s consciousness (Apocalypse Now 1).
Also in the film, Willardbecomes uncertain whether his acts are rightor wrong. Besides, the conversation made by the Chief emphasizes thetheme of distortion of moral values. Specifically, Chief says, “youhave no idea about where the hell you are headed, do you?” Thequestion by Chief is metaphorical in nature. Willard is not surewhere he is going since he is not sure whether to proceed andimplement the mission of colonization. The persistence of the smoguntil the end of the scene further emphasizes that the judgment ofWillard and his men is clouded. The smoke covers the boat and blurstheir vision similar to the way their uncertainty and consciousnessdistorts their senses (Apocalypse Now 1).
The third article in the text to depict the theme of moraldeterioration describes the imperialists as intruders. Thenativesattack upon the imperialist’s entry into their land. The actof rebellion is similar to both text and the movie. In the Heartof Darkness, Marlow is the protagonistthe natives attack him inhis boat. Similarly, Willard is attacked in his boat in a scene oftheApocalypse Now. The fact that the natives are not welcomingto the imperialists certifies their uncertainty on the end result ofthe intruders settling in their land. It shows that the natives hadan inner feeling that the intruders will have a negative impact(Watts 60).
TheHeart of Darkness, the Hollow Men and the film onthe Apocalypse Now explore a similar theme to question humanmorality. Eliot’s choice of words in the Hollow Men seems torefer to the characters of the novel and the film such as Marlow andKurtz respectively.The first article in the text to depict moraldeterioration is about the natives’ uncertainty. It is depicted byuse of smoke and smog in the film and the text respectively. Thesecond article in the text to depict the theme of moral deteriorationis the madness of the characters. The madness in Helmsman and Chiefare used in the text and the film respectively. The third article inthe text to depict the theme of moral deterioration describes theimperialists as intruders. Marlow and Willard are attacked in theirboats to indicate the natives’ resistance towards colonialism.
Eliot,T. S., Kristina Winberg, and England Oxford. TheHollow Men.Oxford [England: School of Art, 1964. Print.
AppocalypseNow: AppocalypseNow Redux,Dir:Francis Ford Coppola.Perf.Marlon Brando, martin Sheenet. Al.Paramount pictures.2001
Conrad,Joseph. HeartOf Darkness.Norton & Company (1988): New York: Norton, 1988.Print
Hargrove,Nancy. Landscapeas Symbol in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot.MississippiUP, 1978. Print
Watts,Cedric Thomas. Conrad`sHeart of Darkness a Critical and Contextual Discussion. Amsterdam:Editions Rodopi, 2012. Print.