"Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad is a short novel published in 1899. "Apocalypse Now" is a 1979 film based on the novel Heart of Darkness by Francis Ford Coppola set during the Vietnam War. Since "Apocalypse now" is a movie that is inspired from Joseph Conrad's novel, when comparing (both projects) it is evident that they share similarities in theme such as racism against the natives, the fear of the unknown, darkness, the nature of evil, and government. However, Conrad and Coppola managed to develop the same character but in different ways; the morals and motives of Kurtz in both works is what differentiates them from one another, while sticking to the main storyline. .
The first point of similarity that Heart of Darkness and "Apocalypse Now" share deals with racism. Racism and discrimination are major themes that are displayed throughout the movie and the book. Joseph Conrad and Francis Coppola both emphasized how poorly the natives were treated. In the novel, Marlow's description of the natives when he gets his first glance at them was horrifying. He describes: "They were dying slowly-It was very clear. They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now,-- nothing but black shadows of diseases and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom. Brought from all the recesses from the coast in all the legality of time contracts. Fed with unfamiliar food, the sickened, became inefficient, and were then allowed to crawl away and rest". (Conrad, p.12) .
Here, Marlow states that the natives were harmless innocent beings that were forcefully brought there to become Kurt's slaves. Likewise, in "Apocalypse Now" Kurtz's feelings towards the natives amplifies how little they thought of them. Kurtz says: "We must kill them, we must incinerate them, pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army.