Elia Kazan's film On The WaterfrontIf it wasn’t for the influence of Edie Doyle and Father Barry, do you think Terry Malloy would’ve experienced his moral awakening and do the right thing by...

Elia Kazan's film On The Waterfront

If it wasn’t for the influence of Edie Doyle and Father Barry, do you think Terry Malloy would’ve experienced his moral awakening and do the right thing by testifying by himself? Provide evidence and quotes from the film.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It should be understood that Terry Malloy is neither the protagonist nor the antagonist inOn The Waterfront. He is torn between two strong forces represented by Father Barry, the protagonist, and the union boss played by Lee J. Cobb. Good versus evil. Terry loves Edie, but she does not try to influence him. Instead, she turns against him when she finds out he was involved in the death of her brother. Father Barry, played by Karl Malden, does try to influence Terry. The Catholic priest  is a crusader who is trying to influence all the workers on the waterfront to stop being crooked themselves and to stop cooperating with mobsters. When Friendly, the union boss, begin to feel that Terry is being too strongly influenced, he orders Terry's brother, played by Rod Steiger, to kill him. In a marvelous scene in a taxi cab, Terry's brother pulls a gun but finds he cannot kill his own brother. In reprisal, Friendly hasTerry's brother killed and hung on a fence by a sort of meat hook. It is the murder of his brother that motivates Terry to testify against the crooked union boss, following the advice of Father Barry that this would be his best revenge. After Terry's "moral awakening," he finds the courage to force himself on Edie and rekindle her love for him, but she does not directly influence him to testify against the crooked union officials. The story is plotted as a conflict between Father Barry and Friendly with Terry Malloy torn between them. Terry is used to symbolize all the waterfront workers.

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