GLOCALCOLLOQUIES - Vol 2, Issue 1, June 2016

Pages: 65-75

Tracing the Postcolonial-Ecological Schema: A Reading of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now

Author: Ranjan, Kaustubh

Category: Research

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This paper tries to locate the ab/use of nature and culture of the colonized land, and at the same time it also tries to trace how this ab/use contributes in the territorial expansion. The article is based on the readings of two texts with colonialism as their backdrop, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and its cinematic adaptation, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. The very idea of darkness associated with Africa has been a colonial construct and the colossal forests of Africa were one of the few reasons behind such political construction. In the celluloid version the deployment of arms and ammunitions to foster violence disturb the natural harmony of Vietnam. The text and the movie suggest that the imperial adventure and subsequent experiences make colonial settlers realise the existing ‘darkness’ of their hearts. The reiteration of various stereotypes associated with an ‘alien’ land through characters like Marlow in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, show that the idea of adventure tale is not as innocent as it is presented. On the contrary, it has deep political and imperial undertones. Both the text and the movie show how colonisers’ cruelty is not limited to the natives but is extended to the nature and culture of the ‘other’ land. The preset paper attempts an ecocritical reading of the novella and the film to discuss what role colonialism played in the ecocide of the native land and dehumanization of natives.

Keywords: Ecocriticism, (Post)colonialism, Nature-Culture Binary, Adventure

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Glocal Colloquies invites unpublished original research papers, interviews, book reviews in English on Contemporary South Asian Literatures. Deadline for submission is March 15, 2017. To Submit: 1. Complete Sign up< 2. Log in< 3. Follow Instructions< 4. Submit

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