On the Waterfront-themes - Year12VCE

On the
What are themes?
are the
fundamental and often
universal ideas
explored in a literary
Informing as the
Correct Moral Choice
 Terry
obeys moral
authority by
choosing to
inform on the
corrupt union officials—that is,
he clearly makes the morally
correct decision.
The Transforming
Power of Faith
and Father Barry, the
two characters who most
help Terry figure things out,
have faith in something
The Transforming Power of
Faith (continued)
Edie maintains faith in her
belief that people care about
the well-being
of others and
want to do
the right thing.
The Transforming Power of Faith
 Father
Barry maintains faith
that acting as a representative
of God can
help others
do the right
Power Corrupts
the game of power there
are no true friends, just the
acquisition of more power
and the defence of that
Power Corrupts (continued)
 Johnny
Friendly’s taste for power
has left him morally bankrupt
 Mr. Upstairs
turns on
Johnny Friendly in
an instant
Power & Control
(similar to Power Corrupts)
 The
film shows us a world
controlled by powerful criminals
who use threat and bullying to
achieve power over people
 Friendly is the one in control of
the workers
 In reality he is a coward who
uses brute force to gain control
Power & Control
(similar to Power Corrupts)
is defeated by
Terry’s courageous
stance at
 Terry’s
attitude to life changes
when he falls in love with Edie
 Formerly Terry was indecisive
and weak
makes him more
courageous and strong
He begins to commit
himself firmly to exposing
the criminal activities of
Johnny Friendly and his gang
 It
is love for his brother Terry and the
desire to protect him from danger that
costs Charley his life
 Love and loyalty to his brother Charley
moves Terry to
take a firm and
final stance against
Johnny Friendly
Loyalty & Betrayal
Edie’s loyalty to her dead brother Joey is
the main driving force motivating all her
actions in the film
 Her loyalty to Joey’s memory contributes
in many ways to the final destruction of
Friendly’s corrupt tactics
Loyalty & Betrayal
 Friendly
betrays Charley by
having him murdered even
Charley has
worked with
him for
many years
Loyalty & Betrayal (continued)
 Friendly
gets Terry to betray Joey
by luring him out on to the roof
at the beginning of the film
 Out of loyalty to his dead
brother Charley, to Joey and the
workers, Terry boldly confronts
Friendly and defeats him at the
you think of
any other themes in
On the Waterfront?
Writing Task
 Choose
one (or two) of the
themes discussed in this
presentation and write 400-500
words of explanation.
 Support your
thoughts with
from the film

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