Myth: From Lévi-Strauss and Douglas to Conrad and Coppola

13 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013

Date Written: December 9, 2013


Heart of Darkness (HoD) and Apocalypse Now (AN) both exhibit center point construction. Each narrative is constructed about a central incident that is, in effect, a précis of the whole. In HoD that incident is the death of the helmsman, into which Conrad inserted a long paragraph giving Kurtz’s history. In AN that incident is the (needless) massacre of the crew of a sampan. The two narratives, however, are thematically different. HoD is about European imperialism while AN is about the American state. These differences are reflected in differences in the ways the two narratives utilize center point construction.

Keywords: myth, film, movie, narrative, ring form, parallelism, Conrad, Coppola, Lévi-Strauss, Mary Douglas

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., Myth: From Lévi-Strauss and Douglas to Conrad and Coppola (December 9, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

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