On The Waterfront Analysis

1997 Words 8 Pages
On The Waterfront(1954) provides an inside look at the corruption within the waterfront docks of New York. The infrastructure of the docks are monopolized by the mob, oppressing workers and corrupting a fair union. In order to maintain power the mob goes after anyone who violates their deaf and dumb policy. The film opens by showing a scenario in which someone has violated their code and suffers death as a consequence. The conflict that drives the plot is: Will there be justice for the death of Joey Doyle? The main character, Terry Malloy, acts as a moral agent in the process of obtaining justice. He is tested by dock conduct, members of the community and most importantly, himself. The film highlights his transformation and uses it to portray …show more content…
This urge was influenced by the moral absolutism of Edie and Father Barry. By this point Terry has begun to listen and process their criticisms against the mob. He realizes that the code he was brought up with is not fair and begins to adopt moral relativism in situations instead of having no opinions. Now he is able to realize he has a moral problem, he has to decide whether to stay quite or help Edie and Father Barry stand up to the mob. The right choice isn 't clear to him yet because he knows that both sides have their pros and cons. Terry expressed to Father Barry that he can’t go against his big brother, so he is torn about further action. The fact that Terry is opening up shows that his values have begun to shift from obligation to the mob community to the community as a whole. He is beginning to make meaningful relationships that show him there’s more to life than getting by and taking care of yourself. Edie has given him more to care about. His affection for her causes him to feel guilty and confess. Terry still views himself as a subordinate, but is starting to become aware of his, as well as others, role in the community. This evolving view of hope for change and a better future affects all of Terry’s actions to …show more content…
As shown, Terry began with few morals and an ingrained sense of following the code of the mob. As the film progresses, he gains insight of a different way of life and starts to question the morality behind the mob and gain a sense of self. By the end Terry has not only developed a conscious, but listens to it to make the right choices no matter the risk. Terry’s transformation highlights the morals the film is trying to get across. He teaches that solving a moral problem isn 't always easy, but one must use moral authority and do the right thing no matter the consequences. Also, he shows that testifying, although unsafe, has a positive result in the

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