Adjectives Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando)
Inarticulate- his speech is mumbled, lack of education.
Reluctant hero- wrestles with his conscience, does not want to be disloyal to Johnny Friendly and the rest of the gang.
“bum” – didn’t want to go to school, no proper role (loses his boxing career)
Sensitive - cares for animals, caring towards Edie, guilty about what happened to Joey.
Physically strong – boxing career, seen in his fighting, such as the final “show down” with Johnny Friendly or when he kicks in Edie’s door.
Vulnerable – under threat, Johnny Friendly gang – his conscience and sensitivity, also integrity exposes him to danger.
Coward – he blames Charlie for ruining his career, he didn’t stand up to Johnny. The mob warned Terry to not see Edie and he listened for a while.
Gentle – he cares for Edie
Softer – he smooths talk to Edie.
Terry’s progression from a naïve thug to the longshoremen’s saviour is a central element to the plot of On the Waterfront. Initially, Brando’s nervous gestures, inarticulate speech and mumbling convey the sense that Terry is a “confused kid”. He is particularly remorseful about his involvement in Joey’s death; the reoccurrence of barred fences represent the extent to which terry is trapped by his guilt. As the film progresses we learn that Terry is willing to sacrifice his principles to please others. For example, Terry was prepared to “take a dive for the short end money” so that Johnny Friendly could win a bet. However, the influence of Edie and Father Barry leads to Terry’s moral and emotional development. While Terry believes that you should “do it to him before he does it to you”, Edie opens up his eyes to the idea that “everybody should care about everybody else.” Terry’s boxing career becomes a metaphor for his moral and emotional transformation. Terry was leading to a successful career; he…