Terry Malloy's Redemption In On The Waterfront

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Elia Kazan’s ‘On the Waterfront’, is a story of Terry Malloy’s ultimate journey of fulfilling his dreams on becoming a contender and becoming a man from a ‘bum’. Two of the most influential people, Father Barry and Edie Doyle constantly remind Terry to listen to his conscience. ‘On the Waterfront’ takes the audience on a journey through terry’s life, which gives them an insight into his life and dilemmas which he faces along the way. Terry’s redemption took time and was aided by the support of others. When Johnny Friendly’s gang murders his brother Charlie, Terry realizes the union corruption makes the decision to go against the union and make them pay, now that he’s felt the pain personally. The initial stage of the film, Terry Malloy is a part of a corrupt and threatening environment. He is a careless character, who is easily directed. However in time, Terry learns to stop being a follower and decide to start reclaiming power of his own life. At the beginning of the film Terry is initially ruled by Johnny Friendly and his mob. When he comes back from setting up joey, he walks behind Truck and Charley,…show more content…
Terry speaking out in the cab shows his inability to “keep quiet” and his regret as becoming a “bum” through following the orders of Johnny Friendly and the mob. While charley only sees from a financial viewpoint “Do you know how much the piers are worth that we control through the local?” However Terry is more focused on fulfilling his dream, something which no amount of money can reclaim, his sense of dignity and respect. This is evident when he quotes “I could’ve been a contender. I could have been somebody”. Terry’s speech alone in this scene shows his detachment from being ordered around and stuck in a cage like a “pigeon”, deaf and dumb to speaking out and attempting to redeem his sense of dignity and power to become a
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