Analysis Of The Film ' On The Waterfront ' Essay

733 Words Oct 21st, 2016 3 Pages
In 1954, the film “On the Waterfront” by Elia Kazan was released. “On the Waterfront” tells the story of a man bringing down a corrupt union boss along the docks of Hoboken, New Jersey. Kazan uses the film to paint a vivid picture of the waterfront as a space distinctly unique from other spaces in America. Through techniques of narration, Kazan uses the setting, characters and events of the film to create an allegory of morality. The waterfront, corruption, communist party, and events in Kazan’s personal life are all part of the allegory Kazan constructs to put forward the power of religion, morality, and human conscience. The communist party, the corruption of capitalism, and the mob represent vices, while Kazan’s personal actions, Father Barry’s character, and the church are used to establish moral truth. Kazan portrays religion and human conscience as moral centers that guide Terry to succeed in his fight against the extortion, violence, and crime that have developed on the waterfront. The importance of the space itself was emphasized in the film’s title. Kazan makes it clear that the waterfront as a location is central to the meaning of the film. At the beginning of the film the audience is given a picture of the waterfront. It is lined with docks and boats along the edge of New Jersey. The audience is introduced to the atmosphere of the waterfront in the opening scene. The union uses Terry to trick his friend Joey into going on the roof to receive a pigeon Terry…

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