On the Waterfront

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Date Submitted: 09/25/2012 10:47 PM

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Terry is the true hero on the Waterfront.

Do you agree?

Nicole Drew

The movie On the Waterfront directed by Elia Kazan, on the docks of Hoboken, New Jersey is about a young man named Terry Malloy who at the start is proclaimed as a ‘bum’ and others saw him that way and treated him like that, but towards the end of the film, we see Terry changing, to become the hero he really is inside.

Terry did not intend nor want to be the hero on the Waterfront, but not only did he become the hero, he also became a symbol of the workers intolerance of exploitation by the dock bosses. In the scene when Terry and the fellow workers go behind the roller door, it here shows that Terry was able to get his rights and let the workers and himself have their own union and not follow the orders of Johnny Friendly.

Terry’s heroism comes from him standing up against the mob and finally becoming that ‘somebody’ that he had dreamed of being in the boxing ring. We see Terry finally becoming that somebody when he testifies against the Friendly in the courtroom, despite Friendly being a father figure to terry in the past, it had all changed due to Friendly messing with Terry’s family.

Due to the death of his brother, Charley, Terry, is motivated to speak out against the corrupt and violent practices which had been taking place down on the dock, and uses this as his revenge on Friendly for killing his brother. The scene where Terry and Edie find Charley hanging is the scene where we see Terry realise that no one messes with his family and that he needs to finish things with Friendly once and for all.

Terry is just one man standing out against the crowd for what he believes to be right, is balanced by the initial incomprehension of so many of his fellow workers, and in the final scene his blurred vision is a reminder that nothing in this world is certain, beside his uncertain victory against Friendly. When Terry stands up and walks, after Friendly had bet that he wouldn’t be able to...