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When Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness he could not have envisioned director Francis ford Coppolas version of his work Coppola transformed a story of a man sent to Africa to find a missing trader to the story of a Vietnam soldier sent to kill a rogue marine He did so without damaging the spirit of the work as one of the battle within the battle between good and evil Paths paths everywhere a stamped in network of paths spreading over empty land Conrad 39 When Coppola decided to make a story telling the journey to the heart of darkness he had many paths from which to choose how to tell the tale In some choices he followed Conrad and in others he forged his own path Coppolas film Apocalypse Now like Conrads novella Heart of Darkness leaves the viewer in moral confusion however Coppola uses radically different interpretations of Conrads characters to produce the same confusion Both the novella and the film leave the viewer or reader in a moral dilemma when he weighs the actions of Kurtz in respect to the ideals of the institution from which he comes Despite this similarity Coppolas film offers a character who parallels Conrads Marlow yet is drastically different in his relationship to the audience and his personality Coppola again deviates from Conrad when portraying Kurtz as a mystical monster rather than the man beyond good and evil Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now leaves one in a moral dilemma when you consider the events surrounding Kurtz The business institution in Heart of Darkness addresses the atrocities of Kurtz as unsound and bad for business The company never speaks of the terrible actions as unmoral and one begins to question why the decapitations and ruthless killings are not issues acknowledged by the authorities According to Hagen this is a separation of reason from civilized morality
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