How Important Is Family Loyalty in the Film On the Waterfront

How important is family loyalty in the film
???On the Waterfront???, a film by Elia Kazan, has used family loyalty as one of the main key determinants, which influences the actions and decisions of a handful of main characters more specifically, Terry Malloy and Edie Doyle at numerous decisive moments in the film. Elia Kazan mostly conveys family loyalty through turning points in the film. Throughout the film, family loyalty is the key to the film??™s progression, although there are other factors that can be seen to have an effect, for example, guilt, and desire for the truth.Edie Doyle, the gentle, untainted female protagonist, is devoted to her dead brother, Joey Doyle. Through family loyalty and her relentless quest for the truth about corruption on the waterfront, is of great importance to the continuation of the film. Near the exposition of On the Waterfront, when Joey Doyle gets pushed of the roof for being a ???canary??? and dies, Pop Doyle, having no sympathy, won??™t tell the police anything, but Edie Doyle, kneeling at the side of her dead brother, mourning, for Joey Doyle, cries ???I want to know who killed my brother!??? and ???Who is responsible for Joey!??? Family loyalty is undoubtedly revealed in this scene, and is backed up when Edie Doyle, often filmed as a pure, innocent woman, is almost an avenging angel, defying the constraints of her gender in her pursuit of the truth about her brother??™s murder. Furthermore Edie, goes down to the waterfront, covered up in several clothing and looking afraid, but determined to find out the truth ???I??™m going to find how who??™s guilty for Joey.??? The waterfront is an ???all mans??™ world??? so, you can see that Edie has great courage and determination, for her to push forward towards her goal. If Edie had not had this transformation, the film would have ended differently, most likely having a more undesired ending. Even though Edie Doyle??™s family is of great importance to the film, Edie initiates Terry??™s moral dilemma and his eventual transformation to ???contender??™. Edie??™s friendship with Terry which stems from this loyalty to her brother triggers Terry??™s moral development. This is revealed in the ???saloon??? as Terry wrestles to understand Edie??™s sorrow. ???Whatsa matter with you??? he asks, struggling to fathom why she can??™t leave the subject alone. Her words, ???You would help if you could??? and her touch, deeply troubled Terry, forcing him to grapple with his conscience. Edie??™s loyalty to her brother and her subsequent relationship with Terry is thus a catalyst in his moral transformation. Even though we can see how Terry changes slowly throughout the film, eventually towards a more respectable man, there was one specific factor that halts him in his progression, and that would be family loyalty towards his brother. This can be seen when he says ???They??™re asking me to put the finger on my own brother.??? This quote exposes his loyalty towards his brother, and that is what stops him from attending the court, but in order for the film to continue, either Terry must have had a change of heart towards his brother, or Charley Malloy must have died, sadly enough, Charley Malloy died.When Charley was young and looked after his brother Terry, Charley did everything he could do to give Terry a better life, this includes him saying ???this ain??™t your night??? during the championship, when Terry was forced to give up his boxing career, and when Charley got involved with the ???corrupted??? union, thinking it was the ???best way??? to help his little brother out.
The most obvious and significant event that is implied to be family loyalty in the film is where Kazan conveys family loyalty in the taxi scene, when Terry blames Charley for making him throw the fight he could have won. Charley has been implied to be the one who had betrayed Terry, and thus costs Terry his career as a prize-fighter. This is shown when Terry said ???You don??™t understand. I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum which is what I am???, and ???You was my brother, you shoulda looked out for me a little.??? When Terry said both of these quotes, Charley let Terry ???off the hook???, to redeem himself for the failure of not being able to be a proper big brother to Terry. If Charley didn??™t have let Terry go, the film would have most probably ended there, so you can see the importance of Charley being able to sacrifice himself for the sake of his family.In conclusion we can see how family loyalty is the key aspect of this films??™ progression, without family loyalty the film would have ended differently and wouldn??™t have won so many awards. The films??™ development was mostly triggered by Edie Doyle and her loyalty to her family. Without her sense of loyalty Terry wouldn??™t have met her, wouldn??™t have questioned Johnny Friendly??™s ways, Charley wouldn??™t have sacrificed himself for Terry, as it wouldn??™t be necessary and Terry wouldn??™t have gone to court to tell the truth.

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