A blog about the films, actors, actresses and directors. All purely my opinions and some omissions as there are many movies I am yet to see.
Contrasting individuals are Edie and Terry. An authoritative figure on the Hoboken docks, Johnny Friendly is a clear victim of his harsh upbringing as is calculating criminal Charley Malloy who turned to a life of crime to survive.
Father Barry struggles with the conflicting values of his Church and what is morally right for the longshoremen.
He must choose to ignore the environment in which he is most in control to dive into and grapple with vulnerability in order to make a change.
Edie, an innocent catholic school girl whose father works on the waterfront grew up in a world far away from the hustle and bustle of the Hoboken docks. Her clothes cover her completely from the neck down and the gloves she wears represents the insecurity she feels.
When she drops her glove it is clear the vulnerability she is conveying. When she takes it back, she is more comfortable and the mood lightens.
There is a lack of confidence and trust in others that has stemmed from the brutal murder of her brother Joey and the corrupt dealings she has witnessed on the docks of Hoboken. Cinematography also assists in the construction of this conservative image through the way camera angles only show her in a very innocent approach.
Her skin appears flawless and angelic. She never appears aggressive; only very small in the whole situation and it is clear that Edie is uncomfortable in her surroundings.
However, as the film develops a different side of Edie is shown.
She rebels against her father through interacting with Terry as she learns his way of life. Terry was brought up in the complete opposite environment to Edie.
He grew up with the mob and Johnny Friendly constantly surrounding him. Edie on the other hand is desperate for the truth and wants questions answered.
The environment of the waterfront has brought Edie out of the cocoon her parents; particularly Pop Doyle has wrapped her in, showing a side of Edie that is strong, stubborn and feisty. Terry is drawn to her strength and wishes to have the courage to testify.
He wants to save himself, along with the fellow longshoreman, from the cruel and damning environment they live in. Edie helps Terry realise that Johnny must be stopped and he should challenge Johnny and the waterfront corruption with his mouth rather than his fists.
The harsh world of the waterfront has also bred unfavourable qualities in other characters. Charley Malloy demonstrates the importance of placing physical survival and self-preservation foremost.
Perhaps due to his harsh upbringing, he seeks the financial benefits a relationship with Johnny Friendly can bring. He succumbs to his desire for power and wealth by forgoing morality, wishing to escape hard labour and poverty.
The poor living conditions on the waterfront make it very difficult for such individuals to break free from such an environment. He has been so compromised in fact, that he has failed to take care of Terry and enable him to create his own identity, away from where a life on the waterfront would inevitably lead him.
This guilt leads Charley to sacrifice his life to protect Terry in a way that he never could when they were young. He becomes active rather than passive and begins to acknowledge his own potential to effect change.
He adapts his role to someone who is a motivational speaker in an effort to encourage the longshoremen to testify. Edie has influenced the positive change in Father Barry. Terry, Father Barry, Edie and Charley changed in a positive way, whilst Johnny succumbed to his negative influences.
It is clear from the film that the environment in which the characters were in, predisposed them to a certain way of being, as each character was affected differently and came to be a product of their individual surrounding.
The way that Edie changes from a shy school girl, to a strong-minded woman is the direct effect of the rough waterfront docks. When people are put into trying circumstances they can become a reflection of the environment they are in, and some choose to fight the stereotype they are pigeon-holed into and better themselves.
Father Barry saw the damage being caused in his parish and stood up to stop it.United States: Charlotte (Nc) Nagaoka, Japan; Cachoeiro De Itapemirim, Brazil; Bissau, Guinea-Bissau; Czestochowa, Poland. A summary of Themes in 's On the Waterfront.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of On the Waterfront and what it means.
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