Study Guide

Apocalypse Now The Tiger

The Tiger

A ferocious man-eating tiger is one of the terrors the crew encounters. Willard and Chef see it when they venture on shore and look around in the jungle. When the tiger jumps out toward them, they freak out and fly back to the boat. Chef has a nervous breakdown, raving about the beast:

CHEF: A f***ing tiger, f***ing tiger...I don't wanna take this goddamn s*** man...I didn't come here for this, I don't f***ing need this. I didn't get outta the eighth grade for this, man…. All I wanted to do is f***ing cook, I just wanted to learn to f***ing cook. All right, it's all right, it's gonna be all right...ever get out of the boat...bye tiger, bye tiger...

Chef's run into an incarnation of the enemy, the violence and brutality lurking inside the jungle. Like Kurtz, the tiger is a force of destruction. Yet, at the same time, it's got a certain nobility or dignity. The message is: this is my place and you don't belong here.