At the end of the film ‘On the Waterfront’, Terry gains a new understanding of the world and of himself. When Terry says “I’m standin’ over here now” it shows that he understands life more and has a sense of triumph in his voice as it is the first time he has stood up for himself. At the beginning, Terry is confused and burdened as he did not know that the mob were going to kill Joey Doyle, he believed that Joey was a nice person and didn’t deserve to die. These things confuse Terry as he believes no one deserves bad things to happen to them. The death of Dugan and the death of his brother Charley brings him to breaking point and makes him want to kill Johnny friendly but Edie and Father Barry calm him down and explain to him that the only way to beat Friendly is in a courtroom. This opens his eyes to stand up for people and that it’s not okay to be treated like him and the other longshoremen. By the end Terry finds his voice and understands just how important it is to speak the truth and standing up for yourself is, as he has been tossed around his whole life and feels that it is his turn to get the rights he deserves.
At the beginning of the film, Terry becomes distressed by the death of Joey Doyle as he thought “the worst they were going to do was lean on him a little bit”, this shows just how surprised he is by the death of Joey and this affects him throughout the movie. Terry doesn’t really have much of an understanding of himself and the world as he does what everyone else does, remain D&D and not speak against the union. When Terry says “I don’t know nothing, I haven’t seen nothing, I’m not saying nothing” it shows just how important it is for a person to remain silent and not speak against the union because it can be their life on the line. Terry doesn’t have much of an understanding of the world as he just gets by with the bare minimum and doesn’t have ambition.
After the death of Dugan and Father Barry’s speech in the hold, Terry realises just how important it is to speak the truth because by not speaking it people die. Terry begins to understand himself and by confessing to Father Barry and Edie that he set up Joey