John Flanigan Mr
Literature and Society
6th August, 2018
Apocalypse now opens up in Saigon in 1968. Benjamin Willard, an intelligence captain and army officer, who has struggled with alcohol and struggled with alcohol, but extremely ready and prepared to go back into the army, is accompanied by two officers to Nah Trang. They each give him a briefing on a man whom his mission was assigned to, Walter E Kurtz. Walter was a Green Beret Colonel, who became fairly crazy and off the rails, and murdered a soldier with the help of the Montagnard army.
Williard joined a naval patrol river boat and ferried him up to Cambodia’s Nung River. The crew they traveled with consisted of Chief, Chef, Lance, and Clean.. They get caught in a B-52 bomber strike. Kilgore commands an air attacks on a village controlled by the Viet-Cong. Chef and Williard explore the forest, looking for mangoes and encounter a tiger, giving chef a panic attack. They manage to escape and continue making their way up the river, making them that much more reluctant to venture into the river again.
After traveling even more downstream, the crew stops at a U.S. base supply depot. They are given fuel, cigarettes, and other essential supplies for themselves. While they’re at the base, they drop three playboy “playmates” for United Service Organization. They perform to the song Suzie Q. They return to the PBR, and after keepign watch for incoming ships, the captain gives an order. He orders them to stop a sampan. A sampan is a boat carrying several small Vietnamese peasants and supplies in it. The chief orders chef to inspect the boat, and chef is ordered by the chief to look in a rusty yellow can. When he leans in to look at the can this lady is sitting on, the woman makes a quick movement toward it, and Clean, out of alarm, fires at and kills everyone except the woman. The soldiers take her on board and intend on taking him to a close hospital, when Willard walks towards her and shoots her in the chest, killing her, the sole reason being so they didn’t have to waste any time on their trip. Many of the soldiers see him differently after that.
The crew keeps heading upriver, and fights the natives getting arrows shot at them. While fighting them, the chief gets impaled with a spear and killed. After continuing further upstream, the men reached Kurtz camp. Upon arrival, Willard and Lance left the boat to go look for Kurtz, and leave Chef behind, telling him to order an air strike if they aren’t back at the boat by a declared time.
Through Kurtz’s orders, the natives capture Willard and Lance. They drag them through the mud, and Willard ends up finding himself sitting face to face with Kurtz imprisoned in a tiger cage. In the middle of the night, Kurt throws Chef’s cut off head at Willard’s lap. The next day, they release Willard and let him wander Kurtz’s property, and he listened to Kurtz’s ideas over the next couple days. After that, Kurtz’s natives undergo a ritual sacrifice of a caribou, Willard comes inside Kurtz’s quarters and slices him with a machete. His last words were “the horror, the horror.” After he killed Kurtz, the natives declare him their new leader. Willard finds Lance between all the Montagnard, and Willard and Lance escape from the island in a boat.