There's a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called 'the better angels of our nature.'
Every man has a breaking point. You and I have. Walt Kurtz has reached his. And very obviously, he has gone insane.
That quote refers to a man reaching his mental breaking point. I've reached a different breaking point: my heart is broken.
Regarding the film (which I've seen several times over the years), I've never considered what it was that supposedly made Kurtz go crazy .. until now.
I mean, they paint him (played by Marlon Brando) as a stud, both mentally and physically. But if you watch the film, I think you'll agree the thing that made him snap was .. being subject to a dysfunctional system.
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We read stories how, during the Viet Nam war, the powers-that-be -- armchair generals in Washington (far removed from the daily drama) -- saddled our commanders with a set of rules that .. well, drove many mad (figuratively speaking).
Along these lines, Krishnamurti said, "
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
Along these lines, here's another quote I found interesting. Near the end of the movie, we learn why Kurtz spared Willard (played by Martin Sheen). He says:
"I worry my son might not understand what I've tried to be. And if I were to be killed, Willard, I would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything. Everything I did, everything you saw. Because there is nothing I detest more than the stench of lies. And if you understand me, Willard, you'll do this for me."
If you're familiar with the story, you know his rejection of, and rebellion from that system was the thing that got Kurtz killed. Let that be a lesson to all you nonconformists. There's a price to pay for bucking the system.