Study Guide

Apocalypse Now Scene 10

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Scene 10

Scene 10

Toy Arrows, Real Spears

  • Apparently, they managed to pick up some mail at the last outpost. Chef hands it around, and they read their mail. One of them gets a newspaper piece about Charles Manson.
  • Willard gets a classified message, telling him that the army earlier had sent another man, Colby, to kill Kurtz. But this dude switched sides, it seems, joining up with Kurtz.
  • Suddenly, from both sides of the river, enemy fire starts blazing.
  • Mr. Clean gets killed, and Lance can't find the dog. A tape Mr. Clean received from home is still playing—his mother's voice, telling him to come home safe and dodge the bullets.
  • Further down, journeying through smoke from a smoke grenade thrown by Lance, Chief wants to stop the boat because they can't see anything. They can't figure out why no one's attacked, since there are apparently enemies around.
  • Just then, a hail of arrows falls on them. But they're just toy arrows, trying to scare them off. They're from Kurtz's people, the tribal warriors who fight for him.
  • The Americans fire back with machine guns, and then the tribes get serious. A spear goes straight through Chief.
  • As Chief lies dying, he tries to strangle Willard but gets too weak and collapses, dead.
  • After getting away from the arrows, Willard finally admits his mission to Chef and Lance. He's journeying all the way to Cambodia to kill Kurtz, who's crazy.
  • Chef finds that typical—what a psycho mission. But he and Lance agree to go along.

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