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Do you have any material about thematic analysis regarding  On the Waterfront?

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harriott | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:22 AM via web

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Do you have any material about thematic analysis regarding  On the Waterfront?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:48 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that you can find some excellent cinematic criticism of Kazan's film on this website.  The first link below is an article written by Peter Biskind that discusses how Kazan's work speaks to the theme of individual action against overwhelming constructs of power.  Biskind's work analyzes two of Kazan's films, On the Waterfront and Viva Zapata, in this light.  The second link is an article from Pauline Kael about the protagonist, Terry Malloy.  The subject of Malloy's alienation and his response to it in the drama is the subject of this article.  Both of these articles deal with the themes raised in the film and the implications that stem from it.  The last link is an article from Penelope Houston that assesses the "drama" component of the film in the exploration of these themes.  The argument here is how drama can be vital in the development of a morality play, which is what Kazan's work ends up becoming.  I think that these articles represent a good starting point on the thematic analysis of the film and what the implications of such themes in the film are.

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