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Joseph Conrads novella Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppolas film Apocalypse Now share a number of common features that make them similar from a structural point of view and share some of the same events and many of the same characters These similarities are not coincidental as when making his film Coppola based it in essence on Conrads book Whilst the film is based on the novella there are also distinct differences between the two pieces with regards to their mood their focus the motivation for some characters and most notably their endings Contrasting the film and book and recognising the similarities and differences between the two contributes to the readerviewer by giving them a greater understanding of the pieces On a technical level Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness share a significant common feature Despite the differences in the stories Linda Cahair writes that the narrative of each is splendidly similar Both Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now are framestories with mediating narrators In each the mediating narrator is simultaneously present and not present in the text In both works the tale proper is narrated in first person retrospect and the pattern of taletelling is remarkably similarCahir 1992182 Whilst there is this widespread understanding that both Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now share a similar narrative structure writers such as E N Dorall point to minor parallels to the novellaDorall 1988303 that occur throughout the film - more so towards the end once the boat passes the bridge Instances such as the attack on Willards boat by Kurtzs followers as he approaches the Colonels camp and the scene in which the helmsman dies follow the novella almost identically The photographer that greets Willard when he arrives at Kurtzs camp is the Russian follower of Kurtz from Conrads book simply transposed to a different time and place he retains the reverential view of Kurtz that his novella counterpart has and even wears the bright
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