Essentially, Edie is fundamentally tired of the Status Quo along the waterfront. She was never particularly an advocate of the "D and D" ways of life. When her brother is brutally beaten and murdered by associates of Friendly, her discomfort becomes into full out dissent. Her shaming of Father Barry into action is something that she wishes to do on a larger level to all of those who remain silent. The factors of being exposed to violence and a desire to see justice established in a realm where it is absent help to shape her character. At the same time, her desire to compel Terry to do the right thing is another factor that both impacts him, but also strengthens her resolve to see justice done in both her brother's death, but also in the state of being that envelops life on the docks. Edie is passionate about the sense of right that has to overcome the sense of malevolence that Friendly has imposed to the workers on the dock. Her desire to see this become standard in the world helps to motivate her in her pursuit, and is something that ends up impacting Terry to do right.