Waterfront Essay

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ii. Terry says to Charley: “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum. Whichis what I am”. Does the film support Terry’s judgment of himself? The critically acclaimed film On the Waterfront directed by Elia Kazan is a film set in the early 1950’s around the docks of the corrupt and adverse society of New Jersey, following the main character Terry Malloy the story leads through his journey to guide his conscience to the right path with the help of Edie and Father Barry. In the film Terry sees himself as a bum, but through his own actions he can rid his label of being a “Bum”. Such as terry feeling guilt and remorse for Joeys death, the end of the film where Terry testifies against the Dock union run by Johnny Friendly and falling in love with Edie and trying to help himself be a better man. When terry was wrongly put into the situation where he was the key to Joey Doyles death, he was in shock and confused about what had just happened and what position he had been put in, he felt as if he wasn’t in the low down of the situation, he didn’t know what he was getting himself into, but being Charlies brother he felt the need to keep quiet and say nothing, “D and D”. Terry Malloy was a man with a large conscience as many people remind Terry throughout the film. He sees what is wrong and what is right yet he doesn’t make a move about it until he gets tied up with Joey’s sister Edie and the local Priest, Father Barry. He knew the only way to clear his conscience was to clear his name as a “bum” and set onto the tasks that were needed to do such as make it up to Edie who was unclear at the time that he has something to do with her brothers dead and he kept her safe, such as the time he helped her escape father Barry’s local church from Johnny friendly and his gangs attack. During the film he meets Edie over a fight over a token to work that

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