Family Loyalty In On The Waterfront

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How important is family loyalty in the film The film,’on the waterfront’directed by Elia Kazan is set on the docks of New Jercey. Kazan uses various techniqus based on a true event to narrate a story of a former prize-fighter Terry Malloy whose life is dominated by Johnny Friendly. The film substains by different themes,among which,family loyalty is the most significant one. Family loyalty ,to some extent, is the motivation for the behavior of the characters. To those who are blood related,family loyalty is the key to transformation. It is family loyalty that changes Charley. Family loyalty gives Charley responsibility to protect his brother Terry. Initially, he protects Terry and encourages him to be loyal to Johnny Friendly by saying ’you have a friend here’ and he takes…show more content…
Finally, his loyalty to Terry renders him a betrayal towards Johnny Friendly, He is transformed by giving the gun to Terry and letting him go. When his cadaver hangs up on the longshoreman’s hook, it is a message that Kazan tells the audience,family loyalty is so important for Charley that he would rather sacrifice his life to protect his kid brother Terry. Moreover,it is family loyalty that alters Terry to a hero. Family loyalty is a catalyst for his transformation,also,it is his motivation to stand up for justice. Terry is initially a ‘coward’ as he is timid to say anything about the truth. When he knows the truth of Joey’s death, he puts him left hand into his right pocket,where he used to carry Joey’s pigeon which demonstrates his guilt towards Joey but he is too weak to say anything. Whereas, when he sees his brother’s corpse hanging up on a longshoreman’s hook, the audience can see a furious expression on his face and his loyalty to Charley galvanizes him to take revenge. Kazan displays that family loyalty is critically important for Terry to make a transformation. At last but not the least, it is family loyalty that changes Edie
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