On the Waterfront: Film Analysis

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

When looking at the movie “On the Waterfront,” it can be seen that each item seen or mentioned in the film has a deeper symbol. For example, when looking at the pigeons and the hawks, it can be seen that they tie into the deeper meaning of freedom. Both birds can be portrayed as freedom because Terry talks about how the pigeons only have to eat, sleep, and get to fly around whenever they want. When looking at the pigeons and hawks, it can also be seen that they’re caged; this can be seen as a symbol because Terry finds himself confined in wanted away out.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

When taking a look at the Hudon River and the NYC skyline, it can be seen that both represent a different life that each of the characters long. The reason behind this is because while the ships a free to leave and escape the world, it seems like when comparing this to the characters, it can be seen that they all seem stuck and unable to move forward.

When looking at the symbolism behind Joey’s jacket, it becomes apparent throughout the movie that whoever has Joey’s jacket at the time seems to die. For example, it can be seen that after Joey died that the jacket made its way to his father, who in return gave the jacket to Dugan, who later died. The jacket can also be seen as a symbol of justice, as each of the characters in the movie that received the jacket is seen standing up for what they believe is right. 

Another example of symbolism within the film is seen with the gloves that both Edie and Chalie wear. When looking at the meaning behind Edie’s gloves, it can be seen that when Terry puts on the glove that Edie drops in the park that he does this to get under Edie’s skin. This gesture can also be seen as a sign of intimacy while also seen as a way to frustrate Edie as she likes order.

When looking at the meaning behind Charlie’s gloves, it can be seen that the scene where Charlie takes off one glove in the taxi and plays with it while talking shows use Charlie’s nerves. The reason behind this is because Charlie is fiddling with the glove to find a distraction. Because of this, we can see that Charlie’s gloves symbolize a sense of nervousness.

The last symbol that can be seen within the movie is the hooks; when looking at the deeper meaning behind the hook, they represent a force hanging over the characters. The reasoning behind this is that the hooks are seen carrying heavy loads and shipments; this can be compared to the characters because each of them is carrying the burden of Joey’s death and the pressure of the men making them stay silent. 

Get quality help now

Sir. Ken

Verified writer

Proficient in: Movies

4.8 (192 reviews)
“This is an exceptional writer. Listened to instructions very well and produced paper before the deadline. ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More On The Waterfront Related Essays

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.