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Masculine world No female in the mob: male control/power World of violence: boxing, crime, murder, fist-fight at the end Women should be protected; Father.

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Presentation on theme: "Masculine world No female in the mob: male control/power World of violence: boxing, crime, murder, fist-fight at the end Women should be protected; Father."— Presentation transcript:

1 Masculine world No female in the mob: male control/power World of violence: boxing, crime, murder, fist-fight at the end Women should be protected; Father Barry and Pop do not want Edie to be exposed to such aggression/violence Park scene: Terry picks up and puts Edie’s glove on his hand Edie dressed in a white nightgown-frailty, vulnerability Edie suggests there are other ways of seeking revenge for his brother’s death Contrast between masculine and feminine Hero (Terry) is very masculine: ‘strong, silent type’ Joey’s jacket is passed onto KO and then Terry Type of coats/jackets represent roles played by men in society 1

2 Individual heroism and collective struggle Narrative begins with sacrifice of Joey (“everybody loved him”) While Terry appears to be the hero, he is constantly influenced by others Throwing the tokens for the workers is akin to throwing crumbs for pigeons Always an individual who instigates and enforces change when there is a collective struggle Father Barry encourages action against the mob; influences Terry The struggle (for the workers) is job security; they are oppressed by the bosses, who use fear, intimidation Terry was protected by the mob; he has made sacrifices (his career); when he testifies, he also risks his connection to Johnny’s gang McCarthyism-Communist blacklist to prevent infiltration into USA lifestyle/values Final ‘long walk’ scene Motif of Joey’s jacket (passing on the mantle of hero) 2

3 Moral struggle and individual conscience Displayed through characterisation of central protagonist Terry, who constantly questions his actions; regrets his role in Joey’s death; conscience is influenced through fear, his moral standards and his love for Edie “you know, if I spill, my life ain’t worth a nickel” “how much is your soul worth if you don’t?” Father Barry invites Terry to contemplate which is the correct choice (bar scene) To testify or remain loyal: shows his ability to overcome fear of rejection by his community Car scene with Charley-Terry has to decide whether to follow his brother’s request or ‘be somebody’, Charley’s struggle 3

4 Family and community bonds Johnny’s relationship with Terry: slaps him on the back, acts like the father figure Terry and Charley have grown up with the mob (they can be considered as a family-united by desire for money) Strength of sibling bond between Terry and Charley Terry is united with workers in final scene (acceptance) Terry can be seen as a recluse (escapes to pigeon coop) and outsider Tommy feels betrayed by Terry Edie’s family (shows financial hardship and sacrifices) The Church gives workers the right to speak (place for communal bonding) 4

5 Redemption When someone has taken a morally wrong path, they turn it around and makes a choice that is more morally correct Terry decides to testify against the mob (encouraged by Edie’s love and Charley’s death) Terry is initially presented as a ‘bum’ A series of events (and people) encourage Terry to have confidence and courage to face Johnny by himself Charley redeems himself by not killing Terry (and confessing his involvement in ‘fixing’ the boxing matches) Workers redeem pride in themselves Redemptive power of love (sibling and romantic) 5

6 Power and corruption Power is enforced through fear and violence: those who testify are silenced through threats or murder “hawks single out pigeons and kill them” Hierarchy (those in the lodge, the loft and the hold) Money laundering (criminal activity) Created demand for work (selection of workers created desperation) Father Barry and moral righteousness AND the bosses/mafia and their physical power/intimidation Terry is torn between these powerful forces Johnny Friendly-the corrupt leader ‘The man upstairs’ Terry was corrupted by his relationship with the mob Father Barry appeals to their sense of right/wrong and takes advantage of their role as victims who are ‘crucified’ Use of lighting to convey darkness (of the corruption) 6

7 Loyalty and betrayal Influences: money, fear, relationships, family, morality Workers are compelled to be loyal ‘D&D’ because they are controlled by fear Pigeons used as symbol of loyalty and betrayal Shifting and conflicting loyalties Terry’s gestures indicate his internal conflict and reluctance to act (hands in pockets, touching head and chin, eyes) When Tommy finds out that Terry has testified, he kills the pigeons (belonging to the Golden Warriors) One message of the film is that betrayal can lead to death Father Barry is loyal to his faith and his congregation (workers). He realises the importance of being a part of the struggle. Edie remains loyal throughout the film Charley does his best to look after Terry Lack of remorse 7

8 ON THE WATERFRONT Background context Social, cultural values of the production era (and film- maker) How meaning is constructed 8

9 Background Post WWII and Great Depression Produced at the time of America’s “red scare” of the 1950’s (Cold War) Set on New York’s Docklands (Hoboken, New Jersey) Longshoremen – dock workers who loaded / unloaded ships’ cargoes. Documentary style approach (realism of Italian cinema) The movie reflects an aspect of American life at that time. 9

10 The film is based on a series of Pulitzer Prize–winning news articles by Malcolm Johnson, published in the New York Sun in 1949. The articles exposed the murder, extortion and stand-over tactics infesting the docks, which were controlled by the corrupt Longshoremen’s Union. A Congressional inquiry, like the one in the film, was set up to hear evidence from the dockworkers in an attempt to clean up the waterfront. 10

11 USA: historical, social, cultural values Patriotism: protecting American values and promoting the ‘American Dream’ Allegiance to group, trust, loyalty Personal responsibility, honesty, integrity Conformity and conservatism HUAC mandate was to locate and vilify those who were perceived to be a threat to the American way of life Increasing economic prosperity-manufacturing boom, consumerism, marketing and selling Hard work; aspiration Morality and Family Values Obedience to patriarch (and church) Decency; chastity/purity (restrictive/prudish sexual mores) Clear division/delineation of gender roles-primacy of the role of homemaker/mother glorified in popular culture (TV/magazines) 11

12 The American Dream The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." [Adams,1931 in ‘Epic of America] A phrase connoting hope for prosperity and happiness, symbolized particularly by having a house of one's own. Possibly applied at first to the hopes of immigrants, the phrase now applies to all except the very rich and suggests a confident hope that one's children's economic and social condition will be better than one's own. 12

13 USA: social, cultural values Empire State Building Build during Great Depression in an attempt to create jobs Construction was around the clock 24 hours a day. To prove to the world that the American workforce and spirit was strong and citizens should not give up hope on America 102 floors, 18months Completed in 1931 13

14 The union movement Prosperity meant high wages and few labor complaints, depriving unions of the high-profile status they enjoyed in 1930s and 1940s. Also weakening unions was the decrease in blue-collar workers because of the rise of automation and the accompanying increase in white-collar jobs—office employees, managers, salespersons. This loss of blue-collar workers stripped the labor movement of its core influence and contributed to the sharp decline in union membership during the 1950s. 14

15 USA: social and cultural values Though 1950s prosperity benefited many Americans, it also obscured widespread poverty. More than one-fifth of the nation lived below the poverty line: some in desolate rural conditions as migrant workers, others in the crowded and dirty slums of American cities. As wealthy whites moved to the suburbs, cities exhausted their funds attempting to provide social services to an increasing number of poor urbanites. 15

16 USA: social and cultural values The U.S. population accordingly grew from about 150 million to about 180 million during the 1950s. The baby boom, as this explosion was called, was a product of and a cause for conservative family values—especially about the place of women in American society. Dr. Benjamin Spock, author of the wildly successful Baby and Child Care (1946), suggested that mothers devote themselves to the full-time care of their children. Popular culture depicted marriage and feminine domesticity as a primary goal for American women, and the education system reinforced this portrayal. 16

17 USA: social and cultural values This revival of domesticity as a social value was accompanied by a revival of religion. Religious messages began to creep into popular culture as religious leaders became famous faces. It was during the 1950s that Congress added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. 17

18 CONTEXT Cold War, Communism, Kazan and HUAC 18

19 Cold War and Communism After World War Two, the United States began to focus on the differences between itself and the Soviet Union (Russia) - Russia was a Communist country (since 1917) - USA was capitalist and democratic - Tensions began to rise in what was known as “The Cold War ‟ - Soviet Union was becoming strong - China became Communist in 1949 - By 1950 fear of communism was rife in America 19

20 Elia Kazan, the film’s director Kazan, a Communist Party member in his youth, had testified in 1952 to the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Commission) against his peers in the film industry and had been subjected to much contempt and rejection. Kazan had his own reasons for wanting to tell the story of a courageous whistleblower who risks life and reputation to follow his conscience and give testimony. 20

21 The Hook The Great Depression left many Americans wondering about the stability of US policy, and influenced the two men to explore socialist and communist ideologies. After attending some informational meetings, Kazan joined the communist party (and later left); Miller did not join. Miller and Kazan witnessed mobsters monopolizing jobs on the Jersey docks as workers, desperate for income, were exploited. This served as the inspiration for their collaborative play The Hook, a story about one man’s struggle against injustice on the docks. Miller and Kazan move to Hollywood, taking their script with them.

22 HUAC hearings HUAC subpoenaed many actors, screenwriters, and directors to coerce them into informing on their colleagues making public which of their friends now had, or formerly had, any associations with the Communist Party. HUAC subpoenaed Kazan once, and at his initial hearing he refused to divulge details. At a second hearing in 1952, however, Kazan chose to give the names of seven former colleagues from his Group Theatre days. 22

23 Hollywood blacklist Kazan’s justifications, however, were met with much criticism, particularly from his good friend Arthur Miller, who believed naming names was a betrayal of fellow artists. Many believe that Miller’s play The Crucible, whose hero (John Proctor) dies rather than accuse people of being witches, represents this view. On the Waterfront celebrates as a hero a man who informed on mob leaders, and many people believe that Kazan made the film as a response to Miller, and other critics. 23

24 On The Waterfront Elia Kazan, recognizing the parallel between himself and John Proctor, had an opportunity to answer back to Miller. Together with Bud Schulberg, he reworked the script of The Hook into the screenplay for On the Waterfront, starring Marlon Brando. Brando’s character, Terry, gives a speech at the end of the film in which he justifies his decision to name names. In The Hook, Terry is beaten to death for his actions, but in On the Waterfront he overcomes his wounds and triumphs. This film won 8 Oscars and was a huge success.

25 Moral ambiguity of decision to testify The choice Terry makes to inform on the union officials echoes the choice Elia Kazan made to inform before HUAC on former communists, but Terry achieves results that are far less morally ambiguous than the results Kazan achieved. Kazan effectively instigated the blacklist of many of his creative, intelligent, and politically active peers. The only loser from Terry’s decision is Johnny Friendly, a merciless bully who clearly deserves what he gets. 25

26 Elia Kazan and Terry Malloy Kazan’s testimony allowed him to pursue a directing career undisturbed. However, many of his subsequent films deal with themes similar to those in On the Waterfront. The recurring themes also suggest that Kazan felt a need to continually assert the right of the individual’s conscience over that of a mob or governmental authority. At the end of On the Waterfront, Terry is surrounded with people who admire and respect him. His informing has elevated him in the longshoremen’s eyes, and he has no reason to doubt his decision. Kazan, though he built a successful career, was never fully embraced by Hollywood, and his own decision to inform stranded him in morally ambiguous territory. 26


28 Structure and style Kazan wanted his directing in On the Waterfront to be invisible so that the actors’ performances could be the focus of the film. Conveys the sense of a community exhausted, paralysed and rendered fearful by corrupting forces within its midst that have wrested democracy from the grasp of the common people. “It ain’t part of America”. Samples from film noir-stylistically, but not in terms of narrative elements (no femme fatale or protagonist/hero who knows what he is doing is wrong, but does it anyway) 28

29 Narrative: Production and Story elements Story elements Narrative structure Characterisation Appearance, personality, motivation Setting Symbols and motifs Production elements Acting Gesture, movement, facial expressions Costume Mise en scene Cinematography Film format Lighting Visual Composition Camera shots and movement Editing Sound Diegetic/non-diegetic 29

30 Two entwined narratives 1. The love story: Edie goes down to the docks to find out about Joey’s death 2. Terry’s redemption story begins when he is first attracted to the beautiful, grieving, angry girl. How are they entwined It takes Edie’s moral strength to draw Terry away from his allegiance to corruption and it takes the sexual attraction between them to draw Edie out of her convent-bred conservatism. The two main characters are: the flawed young man and the pure, angelic young woman who helps him overcome his doubts and failings to become a hero. Redemptive power of love 30

31 The actors’ faces and gestures help the viewer to understand the character.  Terry’s stretching of the soft woollen glove onto his rough workman’s hand as he walks with Edie in the park teases her yet shows his fascination with her  Terry’s gentle turning aside of the gun Charley pulls on him in the taxi expresses everything that is needed about the love between the brothers  the confusion and misery on Terry’s face as he talks to Edie in the pub reveal the internal struggle of this inarticulate character 31

32 Mise-en-scene Mise-en-scène refers to everything that appears before the camera and its arrangement—composition, sets, props, actors, costumes, and lighting. The “mise-en-scène”, along with the cinematography and editing of a film, influence the verisimilitude of a film in the eyes of its viewers. The various elements of design help express a film’s vision by generating a sense of time and space, as well as setting a mood, and sometimes suggesting a character’s state of mind. “Mise-en-scène” also includes the composition, which consists of the positioning and movement of actors, as well as objects, in the shot. 32

33 Cinematography: black-and-white film format  Black-and-white photography gives a stark presentation of the dirty tenements and the treacherous docks  Shadowy tenement buildings and laneways seem to close in around the characters, who are trapped in their narrow lives, and  The sharp vertical lines of cranes and staircases hint at the dangers that await them. Contrasting with this darkness is the expansive rooftop, open to the sky, Terry’s place of refuge. 33

34 Lighting 34

35 Lighting 35

36 Visual Composition 36 The shape, size and positioning of buildings, objects and people within the frame conveys meaning Take note of where the main character is located and what appears in the background/foreground of the frame

37 Visual Composition In the foreground, the pile of rocks forms a pyramid shape, with Terry and Edie at the pinnacle (top of the pile). In the background, we see the skyline of NYC, partially obscured by fog, with the Empire State Building directly behind Terry. The visual composition of this shot reflects the distant and elusive promise of the American Dream. 37

38 Camera angle 38 High angle shots are used to show vulnerability, a loss or lack of power and sense of that character being intimidated, dominated, overwhelmed or undermined

39 Camera shots and movement After Terry and the mob leader brawl on the waterfront, Terry is badly injured and struggles to remain conscious. In a final show of defiance against the mafia leaders, Terry staggers to his feet and walks into the dock with his fellow longshoreman workers. To instill the scope of Terry’s determination, the camera frequently cuts from a medium close-up of Terry stumbling toward the loading dock to a POV shot of his perspective. Imitating Terry’s experience, the shaky camera wildly rattles around, going in and out of focus and cutting to shots of Terry walking along the waterfront. 39

40 Camera shots and movement Mid-shots and medium close ups are used during conversations between two characters; or to depict emotions of one character while showing them in a particular setting 40

41 Camera shots and movement 41 Close-ups are used to convey intense emotions and emphasise dialogue

42 Camera shots and movement 42 Extreme close-ups are rarely used, so when they appear in a film, this is an indication that the message is significant. The tight-framing (generally a part of a character’s body) signifies intensity of emotion, or it may be used to emphasise a symbol/motif

43 Kazan makes use of symbolism S ymbols are objects, characters, figures, or colours used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. Clothes represent qualities of their wearers a. The windbreaker that is passed from Joey to KO to Terry connects its wearer to the struggle for justice. b. The fine, warm overcoats of the Union bosses show their swaggering prosperity, c. while the workers’ poverty is apparent as they shiver in shabby jackets. 43

44 Kazan makes use of symbolism The prize fight that Terry has lost, and that still rankles him, foreshadows his taking on the Union, with even higher stakes and a second chance to ‘be somebody’. Empire state building - Across the Hudson, the Empire State Building looms like the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz, distant and strange. It represents dreams and a different life, yet it’s always glimpsed through a fog. Its sleek jutting frame contrasts dramatically with the ramshackle rooftops of Hoboken, with their discolored patches and mismatched roof levels. The Hudson River - separates Hoboken, New Jersey, from New York City. Manhattan may as well be a thousand miles away, since the Manhattan life the longshoremen imagine is so different from daily life on the waterfront. The river is a border, an edge that the longshoremen will never be able to cross. 44

45 Symbols & Motifs: Pigeons The pigeons are cooped up in a cage. They’re fragile. Their natural impulse is to fly, but they’ve been trained not to. In many ways, the pigeons represent Terry Malloy. 45

46 Symbols & Motifs: Pigeons and rooftops Though he’s a tough former boxer, his excessive care for these birds indicates a special affinity between them. The imagery of him actually inside the cage himself, evident when he tends the birds, suggests this affinity as well. Malloy is a dreamer, a delicate and sensitive man, and much of the conversation that he has with Edie about hawks and pigeons can be translated into words about each other. In many ways, Malloy essentially is a pigeon— that is, he appears on the rooftops and on the street. He is rarely shown inside. 46

47 Symbols & Motifs: Pigeons and rooftops The pigeons also have a negative connotation: stool pigeon, a slang term used to describe informers. Every time a character uses the term stool pigeon or its abbreviation, stoolie, Terry Malloy’s conflict boils to the surface. The rooftops symbolise freedom, a yearning to rise above the crime and corruption on the streets. 47

48 Symbols & Motifs: Hooks The sharp metallic hooks that the longshoremen use to help them load and empty pallets hang over their shoulders menacingly. These hooks represent the forces that literally hang over them in the form of Johnny Friendly’s goons. Over the course of the film, Terry, Dugan, Luke, and many other longshoremen have the hawk-like talon of the hook pressing against their chests. 48

49 Symbols & Motifs: Mesh 49

50 Symbols & Motifs: Fences. 50

51 Symbols & Motifs: Crucifix 51

52 Analysing how meaning is constructed Throughout each of the three parts of the film, Kazan and Kaufman use camera angles that emphasize entrapment, solidified by the setting of laundry hanging on lines, which form diagonals that intrude on human space, alleyways with blinding lights and diffused lighting that emphasizes moral confusion. 52

53 Analysing how meaning is constructed Kazan employs numerous symbols and motifs to depict the corruption that longshoremen of the 1950 have faced. One of the most prominent metaphors is that of the pigeons and hawks. The stevedores are likened to pigeons, who are always at the mercy of their owners. They can only be released at the whim of others as they are always trapped in a cage. The chicken wire fencing of the pigeon coop is a visual representation of the way the workers are entrapped. On the other hand, the mob is likened to hawks, as they swoop on the longshoremen at every opportunity. Furthermore, the way Tommy kills all of Terry’s pigeons creates tension and suspense as the audience is led to compare Terry’s fate to that of his birds. In addition to pigeons, Kazan also employs the symbol of the Empire State Building. It represents, in essence, the American dream, and the way everybody has certain ‘inalienable rights’. However, it is fenced off by an imposing iron fence, and covered by thick fog. The iconography and composition of this fence in the Glove Scene infers that wealth, success and freedom are beyond reach for the residents of the dock. Moreover, the iron fence is a visual representation of a border almost, separating the Hoboken Docks from the rest of America. This sentiment is similarly expressed by Jimmy Collins, as he tells Farther Berg ‘this ain’t part of America’. These symbols of corruption imbue the film with tension, as viewers are left pondering the danger that the workers face, as well as their eventual fate. 53


55 Analyse how values are… Constructed and conveyed through character, plot, dialogue, filmic elements Endorsed, supported, promoted or reinforced Challenged, questioned or discredited 55

56 Views and values in the text Values can be motivating factors that influence, guide or direct action Values are Tenets (religious connotations) Principles Morals Beliefs about right/wrong ways of behaving Priorities 56

57 Views and values in the text Loyalty to others-group, family, country Concern for others or self-protection Solidarity Truth-the characteristics of honesty and integrity Freedom to express dissent against a higher authority Freedom to earn an honest wage (workers’ rights) Courage Fighting a ‘fair’ (legitimate) fight Religious tenets: faith and sacrifice Reward for hard work and honest labour 57

58 Views and values in the text Any discussion of On the Waterfront must address its politics – whatever they may be. It’s difficult to avoid viewing the movie through the prism of its makers’ actions during the HUAC witch hunts. Is it an apologia for informing? Kazan endorsed that interpretation, saying, “On The Waterfront was my own story. Every day I worked on that film I was telling the world where I stood.” He felt “what made the film strong” was “I did not duck the parallel, I admitted it and stressed it.” Years later, though, the director opined that any comparison between Terry’s predicament and his own “falls short. I always felt my situation had values on both sides (while) the issue in the film is terribly clear.” 58

59 Views and values in the text Director Elia Kazan described On the Waterfront as a classic story of redemption: “This motion picture is about one thing only: a young man who has let his dignity slip away, and regains it!” a. Is the story of Terry’s redemption a simple one? b. What things make Terry’s struggle to redeem himself so difficult? c. Does Terry redeem himself? How? 59


61 Characters and characterisation Characters are constructed through the following techniques: Personality/characteristics Actions/behaviour Relationship with other characters How other characters respond to them Back story Motivation Development (how the character evolves and changes throughout the narrative) Appearance Costume Props Camera shots/angles Acting (gestures, facial expressions) Dialogue Musical score (leitmotif) 61

62 Function of characters in the text Characters serve the following functions in a text: To illustrate Themes and ideas Views and values To interact with other characters in order to create the action, provide conflict and propel the narrative 62

63 Practice Essay: deconstructing and planning TOPIC: Father Barry: “There’s one thing we have in this country, and that’s ways of fighting back”. How does On the Waterfront explore the power of the individual? 1. Interrogate the topic 2. Brainstorm-key ideas, values, scenes, quotations, vocab 3. Write a contention 4. Write 2 supporting arguments 5. Find evidence for each argument-2 examples and 2 quotations 6. For one of those arguments, write a close scene analysis 63

64 Sample Essay 1 (introduction) The 1954 film, On the Waterfront attempts to demonstrate that ones potential to fight back is often limited by oppression and heavy handed ways. The genesis of the film comes from Malcolm Johnson’s (1949) investigative articles which documented the extensive corruption on the New York Docks. Director Elia Kazan, uses the narrative of the Hoboken docks as a vehicle for his message; in which the individual, as represented by protagonist Terry Malloy, can fight back and bring change for the collective good, but requires assistance, as evidenced by the influences of Edie Doyle and Father Barry. 64

65 Sample Essay 1 (1 st body paragraph) Kazan sets up a restrictive, bleak Hoboken, in order to convey how corruption can control and limit access to individual freedoms. Kaufmann’s grainy, black and white filming makes the docks seem grimy and unappealing, a potential metaphor for the life of the longshoremen. In a similar fashion, the neighbouring Manhattan skyline is covered in fog suggesting that there is a barrier to success and fortune. As the members of the local ‘374’ sit in Friendly’s bar, they seem unaffected by their role in the murder of “lousy cheese eater” Joey Doyle, emphasising the predatory nature of the docks. Furthermore, it is the pervading “D & D” which undermines all potential for the individual to become empowered. The residents knowingly deprive themselves of their democratic rights, as the need for survival in a place that “ain’t part of America” overrides. Despite the efforts of Mrs Collins, she too is told to “shut up” by fellow longshoremen, as her willingness to speak of the “same things [which] happened to [her] son Andy” threatens her survival in a place where answering “no questions” is paramount. 65

66 Sample Essay 1 (2 nd body paragraph) Father Barry attempts to enlighten the longshoremen and encourage the men to act within their rights; however for the most part, this falls on deaf ears. Attempting to motivate the men, Barry compares silence with propagating murder, and asks how the men can continue to call themselves “Christian”, although to his dismay; bowed heads and averted gazes suggest that Father Barry’s influence may not be enough to change the “d & d” mentality. Even Joey Doyle’s best friend, Jimmy Collins remains silent amidst Father Barry’s pleas, showing the perverted loyalties among the longshoremen. This desire to inspire change is once more seen in the hold of the ship, in which Father Barry holds true to his promise to “walk with” Kayo Dugan “every step of the way” and once more, speaks to the longshoremen. The low camera angle perpetuates Father Barry’s brooding influence, serving to reinforce his declaration that the docks are “[his] church”. Whilst emphasising that “anybody that sits around and lets [murder] happen” is condoning the “crucifixion” of his fellow man, close ups of Terry Malloy suggest that the message resonates with him in particular, and consequently this allegiance to the cause is embodied with Malloy punching union “cowboy” Tillio. 66

67 Sample Essay 2 (introduction) By the end of Kazan’s film On the Waterfront, a type of triumph has occurred as Terry Malloy drags his broken body down the pier, as a final show of individual strength against a corrupt authority. According to Father Barry, Terry has “lost the battle”, but this final solitary walk demonstrates his chance to “win the war” against those who have for so long exploited this working class community. Terry, who for most of the film is a reluctant hero, is pushed into involvement when the conflict between the corrupt dominance of the Mob and those that they exploit to maintain their power is brought into his personal sphere with the murder of his brother Charley. As the longshoremen file in behind their new hero, one can hear Johnny Friendly’s warning, “I’ll be back” and despite the triumphant soundtrack reinforcing Terry’s victory, the viewer is left to wonder whether or not that will be the case. While the roller door closes on Johnny, the possibility of another crooked “labour leader” emerging to take advantage of the working man for their own gain is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. 67

68 Sample Essay 2 (1 st body paragraph) Terry Malloy’s power is cemented as he moves from reluctance to become further embroiled in the investigation into waterfront crime and finally to a sense of clarity regarding what he needs to do to satisfy his conscience. The fact that Terry begins the film as a man desperate to maintain his “cushy” position, being taken care of by Johnny Friendly makes his redemption all the more significant. Terry begins the film like most of the men on the waterfront, acutely aware of his own apparent powerlessness. This is exemplified in the way he is pushed and shoved by Johnny’s henchmen outside the bar at the film’s beginning. Terry believes that his only strength is physical and that his days as a fighter lie far behind him. However, after the murder of his brother Charley, Terry is prompted to enforce the power he holds as an individual. As he barges into Johnny Friendly’s bar he is filmed from a low angle visually highlighting the sense of command he is now prepared to exercise over those who have hurt him. 68

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