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cassettekid

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On The Waterfront
« on: September 15, 2012, 03:21:24 pm »
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If anyone could give me any tips on this essay it would be great! I know it's quite scrappy but I attempted to write this piece to time. :)

On The Waterfront reveals the powerlessness of the individual against a corrupt ruling group.



“You know this city’s full of hawks?” Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront discusses how corruption and greed is always prevalent within society.  The 1954 film follows the story of Terry Malloy, a man trapped between his loyalty to his conscience and the mob run by Johnny Friendly. The film illustrates how many characters attempt to seek justice and freedom from the corrupt union with differing results. The characters of Joey Doyle and Dugan both attempt to stop Johnny Friendly’s hold over the waterfront but ultimately are unable to make a change alone. Kazan illustrates that it is only when a group of individuals unite together change can be made in a corrupt society. However, the ambiguity of the final shot of the film alongside the references to corrupt outside of the constrained city of Hoboken highlight Kazan’s belief that injustice and tyrannical leadership is everpresent within society.



Kazan’s depiction of Joey Doyle highlights how solitary action against a gang will ultimately fail. Joey is depicted as somewhat powerful at the beginning of the scene evidenced through the use of a low angle shot. While Kazan here highlights that Joey’s choice to talk to the Crime Commission is noble and brave; this idea of Joey’s as powerful is quickly subverted as the camera pans up towards Truck and Tullio on the rooftop. Regardless of Joey’s actions in attempting to reveal the restrictive and oppressive life on the waterfront his death highlights how one individual cannot stop the actions of a large group. The ominous music used during his death along with the joke made by Truck “he could sing but he couldn’t fly” highlights how Johnny Friendly’s gang had no difficulty in ensuring their power over the city by killing Joey. Clearly, Kazan illustrates that no matter how noble an intention may be, a singular person cannot defeat a a group of oppressive and greedy leaders. 



Both Fr Barry and Dugan work together to advocate against the exploitation of longshoremen by Johnny Friendly. Fr Barry promises to work alongside Dugan to bring down the dominant group run by Johnny Friendly. Dugan makes the choice to speak out to the Crime Commission shown as the mob claim “he done all the talk.. thirty-nine pages of our operation.” While Dugan does succeed in talking to the Commission, his actions don’t reflect any change within the wharf as all the workers choose to remain “D and D.” Kazan highlights the murder of Dugan to illustrate how the alliance between both Fr Barry and Dugan fails to stop Johnny Friendly. However, Dugan’s death does effect Terry as he begins to question whether it is right to “do it to him before he does it to you.” The union is still presented as in power through the shot of fruit being thrown onto Fr Barry in the hold as he claims anyone who keeps “silent about something.. shares the guilt of it.” However, Terry’s action in attacking Truck and claiming “let him finish” illustrates how the actions of a minority can affect the perceptions of others. Overall, the actions of Dugan do not result in Friendly’s downfall but they do have a direct influence over Terry as he chooses to stand alongside Fr Barry and against the powerful gang.



Terry is supported by both Edie and Fr Barry in his choice to testify against Friendly and his gang of lackeys. Terry chooses to “fight” Friendly in the courtroom is shown to not have a clear effect on the inequality on the docks. Kazan uses the culling of the pigeons by Tommy “a pigeon for a pigeon” to emphasise how Terry’s individual voice made no difference to the oppression of the longshoremen as the choose to remain “deaf and dumb” out of self preservation. Terry, even after testifying is presented in a corrupt society through the long shots of him isolated from the mass of workers behind him. It is only when Terry arrives down at the docks and is severely beaten do the workers begin to support Terry’s revolt against the union. Kazan uses the shot of Terry walking towards the pier to highlight that how his actions are influencing the longshoremen to abandon the ruling of Friendly. The shots of the crowd following Terry highlight how that a large group can fight against tyranny and corruption. Overall, Terry’s actions do influence the longshoremen and motivate them to fight for power against Johnny Friendly’s gang.



The referencing to the character of Mr Upstairs and the depiction of the final shot in the film help to argue that corrupt leaders will always remain prevalent within society. Kazan uses the minor character of Mr Upstairs numerous times during the film. At the beginning of the film, one of Johnny’s workers tells Terry that Friendly “got a call from Mr Upstairs. Something’s gone wrong. He’s pretty hot.” Kazan utilises the character of Mr Upstairs to highlight that even Friendly, the leader of the union has a boss he must report to. Kazan presents Mr Upstairs during the trial to illustrate how far reaching corruption is within society. Mr Upstair’s face is never shown and he is surrounded by luxurious furniture. Mr Upstairs is presented as Friendly’s boss as he claims “If Mr Friendly calls, I’m out..” Kazan, by not revealing Mr Upstairs’ face, argues that corruption will never be removed since it is so widespread throughout society. This is reiterated at the final shot of the film as Terry leads the workers into darkness where the roller doors begin to close. The ominous music along with the characters walking into darkness doesn’t reflect a world rid of oppression but instead leaves the audience questioning whether Terry has succeeded in defeating the oppressive ruling group. Kazan ultimately through the characterisation of Mr Upstairs and the final shot of the film argues that if one tyrannical leader is removed, other gangs and greedy leaders will still remain in society.



Overall, Kazan uses various techniques to highlight how the actions of individuals cannot defeat a ruling group. Both Joey and Dugan fail in defeating the mob leader Johnny Friendly and are ultimately presented as powerless. However, Terry the protagonist, is influenced by both Joey and Dugan’s attempt to remove the subjugation of the longshoremen. Terry’s actions in testifying to the crime commission ultimately leave him isolated until he chooses to once again stand up against Friendly. Terry, with the support of others leads the members of the waterfront to a world not dominated by Johnny Friendly and his gang. However, the incorporation of Mr Upstairs along with the final shot of film ultimately argues Kazan’s belief that a while a ruling group can be removed, another one will replace it. Therefore evidently, Kazan argues that all individuals are powerless against corrupt organisations.
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VivaTequila

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Re: On The Waterfront
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 08:38:21 pm »
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If anyone could give me any tips on this essay it would be great! I know it's quite scrappy but I attempted to write this piece to time. :)

On The Waterfront reveals the powerlessness of the individual against a corrupt ruling group.



“You know this city’s full of hawks?” Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront discusses how corruption and greed is always prevalent within society.  The 1954 film follows the story of Terry Malloy, a man trapped between his loyalty to his conscience and the mob run by Johnny Friendly. The film illustrates how many characters attempt to seek justice and freedom from the corrupt union with differing results. The characters of Joey Doyle and Dugan both attempt to stop Johnny Friendly’s hold over the waterfront but ultimately are unable to make a change alone. Kazan illustrates that it is only when a group of individuals unite together change can be made in a corrupt society. However, the ambiguity of the final shot of the film alongside the references to corrupt outside of the constrained city of Hoboken highlight Kazan’s belief that injustice and tyrannical leadership is everpresent within society.

Opening with a quote like that is a ballsy move. It is either indicative that you're really canny and are going to write with wit and vibrant expression, or that you're unskilled and just taking a stab to try to impress the examiner. After reading that, the examiner is likely to be extremely critical of everything you say, so I really advise against it. And a few points, a movie doensn't "discuss" things - it might show them, but a movie can't "discuss" issues about society, and also it doesn't suggest that corruption and greed are ALWAYS prevalent within society (which on it's own is a bit of a weird grammatical anomaly - it's like saying "corruption and greed are always mostly present in society") because clearly the end of the film shows the opposite is true. Be careful with your wording. The rest of the introduction, minus the few grammatical errors, is top tier stuff. I really liked it. It was punchy, accurate, and dealt with the prompt and your paragraphs. This wouldn't receive less than a 7/10 despite the shaky first few sentences. From now, I won't nitpick so much on grammatical anomalies and just focus on how close the intended message is to the delivered message, and how relevant to the prompt the intended message actually is.



Kazan’s depiction of Joey Doyle highlights how solitary action against a gang will ultimately fail. Joey is depicted as somewhat powerful at the beginning of the scene evidenced through the use of a low angle shot. While Kazan here highlights that Joey’s choice to talk to the Crime Commission is noble and brave; this idea of Joey’s as powerful is quickly subverted as the camera pans up towards Truck and Tullio on the rooftop. Regardless of Joey’s actions in attempting to reveal the restrictive and oppressive life on the waterfront his death highlights how one individual cannot stop the actions of a large group. The ominous music used during his death along with the joke made by Truck “he could sing but he couldn’t fly” highlights how Johnny Friendly’s gang had no difficulty in ensuring their power over the city by killing Joey. Clearly, Kazan illustrates that no matter how noble an intention may be, a singular person cannot defeat a a group of oppressive and greedy leaders.

Killer first two sentences. Conviction and concision. I love it. 3rd sentence has the incorrect use of a semicolon, or the word "While", either one.

Killer use of staging conventions and film theatrics, correct referencing of obscure characters - awesome. No less than an 8/10. Relevant to the prompt, clear, and compelling.


Both Fr Barry and Dugan work together to advocate against the exploitation of longshoremen by Johnny Friendly. Fr Barry promises to work alongside Dugan to bring down the dominant group run by Johnny Friendly. Dugan makes the choice to speak out to the Crime Commission shown as the mob claim “he done all the talk.. thirty-nine pages of our operation.” While Dugan does succeed in talking to the Commission, his actions don’t reflect any change within the wharf as all the workers choose to remain “D and D.” Kazan highlights the murder of Dugan to illustrate how the alliance between both Fr Barry and Dugan fails to stop Johnny Friendly. However, Dugan’s death does effect Terry as he begins to question whether it is right to “do it to him before he does it to you.” The union is still presented as in power through the shot of fruit being thrown onto Fr Barry in the hold as he claims anyone who keeps “silent about something.. shares the guilt of it.” However, Terry’s action in attacking Truck and claiming “let him finish” illustrates how the actions of a minority can affect the perceptions of others. Overall, the actions of Dugan do not result in Friendly’s downfall but they do have a direct influence over Terry as he chooses to stand alongside Fr Barry and against the powerful gang.



Learn the difference between affect and effect. Otherwise, great paragraph again. A instances of poor word choice, but overall, great! 7 or 8 out of 10

Terry is supported by both Edie and Fr Barry in his choice to testify against Friendly and his gang of lackeys. Terry chooses to “fight” Friendly in the courtroom is shown to not have a clear effect on the inequality on the docks. Kazan uses the culling of the pigeons by Tommy “a pigeon for a pigeon” to emphasise how Terry’s individual voice made no difference to the oppression of the longshoremen as the choose to remain “deaf and dumb” out of self preservation. Terry, even after testifying is presented in a corrupt society through the long shots of him isolated from the mass of workers behind him. It is only when Terry arrives down at the docks and is severely beaten do the workers begin to support Terry’s revolt against the union. Kazan uses the shot of Terry walking towards the pier to highlight that how his actions are influencing the longshoremen to abandon the ruling of Friendly. The shots of the crowd following Terry highlight how that a large group can fight against tyranny and corruption. Overall, Terry’s actions do influence the longshoremen and motivate them to fight for power against Johnny Friendly’s gang.

2nd sentence is grammatically incorrect and this was a major drawback of this paragraph - the clauses don't agree with each other. I also would like to implore you to reconsider the mentality of the Dock Workers. I don't agree with your interpretation of what what is going through the dock workers' minds when they see Terry beaten to a pulp - or rather to be more correct, I have a different interpretation. Tell me if you'd think better or worse of this:

I think the Dock Workers are all sort of egging Terry on. They want someone to challenge the administration and bring down the corrupt rulers. However, they know from experience that anyone who sticks their head out is beheaded, so they all keep theirs down. Of course they want the gang overthrown. It's just that the fear of being killed is a bigger factor when it comes to determining whether or not they will support him.

I think that Fr. Barry's canny, albeit harshly crass decision to yell at Terry to get up in his bruised and bloodied state is what convinces the workers to unite and defy the system. See, Fr. Barry's a pretty smart guy, and he knows why the workers refuse to get up and stand for their rights. It's because they see that whenever someone decides to stand up, they fall back down and die. So they conclude that if they do the same, they'll stand up, and die. Fr. Barry knows this mentality, and he understands why the workers are thinking that. So, IMHO, when Fr. Barry yells at Terry to get up, he's simply utilising their mentality to match their will - in showing how someone (Terry) can stand up (criticise J. Friendly), fall down (get bashed by his cronies), and get back up, he illustrates how someone is finally an exeption to the rule. That is to say, someone has finally stood up, been shot down, and GOTTEN BACK UP - They're living to see another day, they're still fighting for what they believe in, so why the fuck shouldn't they join him? They've nothing to be scared of! He's like Jesus Fucking Christ for goodness' sake (pun very fucking intended) - he stood up, was shot down, and rose from the grave, so they have someone to follow knowing that under his direction that they will be safe and not suffer the same fate. Terry becomes a leader THROUGH Fr. Barry's incredibly harsh but nonetheless astute decision to yell (somewhat inhumanely) at Terry to get up.

That's just my 2c. I don't think, as you've said, that the workers begin to support Terry's revolt against the union when he is severely beaten. I think that's actually when they become all sullen and lose hope, as indicated by the film. I think it's later, due to Fr. Barry's decision, that they all regain hope. If you agree and can see my reasoning, then yeah just be careful with what you're specifically saying. If you disagree, prove it to me, I'd be interested to hear what you have to say and how you justify what you've said.

Finnicky, but I think Assessors will pick up on this kind of stuff, because as far as I'm concerned, what you have said is not correct.

That aside, though, very good paragraph. Maybe a 7 or an 8 out of 10.




The referencing to the character of Mr Upstairs and the depiction of the final shot in the film help to argue that corrupt leaders will always remain prevalent within society. Kazan uses the minor character of Mr Upstairs numerous times during the film. At the beginning of the film, one of Johnny’s workers tells Terry that Friendly “got a call from Mr Upstairs. Something’s gone wrong. He’s pretty hot.” Kazan utilises the character of Mr Upstairs to highlight that even Friendly, the leader of the union has a boss he must report to. Kazan presents Mr Upstairs during the trial to illustrate how far reaching corruption is within society. Mr Upstair’s face is never shown and he is surrounded by luxurious furniture. Mr Upstairs is presented as Friendly’s boss as he claims “If Mr Friendly calls, I’m out..” Kazan, by not revealing Mr Upstairs’ face, argues that corruption will never be removed since it is so widespread throughout society. This is reiterated at the final shot of the film as Terry leads the workers into darkness where the roller doors begin to close. The ominous music along with the characters walking into darkness doesn’t reflect a world rid of oppression but instead leaves the audience questioning whether Terry has succeeded in defeating the oppressive ruling group. Kazan ultimately through the characterisation of Mr Upstairs and the final shot of the film argues that if one tyrannical leader is removed, other gangs and greedy leaders will still remain in society.

A student discussing Mr. Upstairs? That's borderline unheard of in On the Waterfront essays - and is bound to score you marks simply for being indie. This is like a breath of fresh air to an assessor. Great work, and correct use of examples, too. Good expression throughout. The only factor that stopped this from being a 9/10 was that the expression didn't "WOW" me - stuff like "At the beginning of the film" can easily be reworded into something more sophisticated. Easy 9/10 though. Top stuff. Great cinematography discussion. I loved it. This should really go up in the English Work Examples thread as top tier essay.



Overall, Kazan uses various techniques to highlight how the actions of individuals cannot defeat a ruling group. Both Joey and Dugan fail in defeating the mob leader Johnny Friendly and are ultimately presented as powerless. However, Terry the protagonist, is influenced by both Joey and Dugan’s attempt to remove the subjugation of the longshoremen. Terry’s actions in testifying to the crime commission ultimately leave him isolated until he chooses to once again stand up against Friendly. Terry, with the support of others leads the members of the waterfront to a world not dominated by Johnny Friendly and his gang. However, the incorporation of Mr Upstairs along with the final shot of film ultimately argues Kazan’s belief that a while a ruling group can be removed, another one will replace it. Therefore evidently, Kazan argues that all individuals are powerless against corrupt organisations.

Weak start to a conclusion - never begin with "Overall - comma", or anything of the sort. The worst offenders include "In conclusion - comma", "In summary - comma".

Here's what you wrote:
Overall, Kazan uses various techniques to highlight how the actions of individuals cannot defeat a ruling group.

Here's the better better version, with 80% more conviction and 200% more awesomeness:
Kazan uses various techniques to highlight how the actions of individuals cannot defeat a ruling group.

Some unfortunate expression/grammatical issues that really detracted from the convicting finish that I was expecting given the high calibre of the rest of the essay. All of it is correct, but I don't think this paragraph would score more than a 7/10


Really, really good stuff. I'd give this an 8/10 overall, and it's just shy of being a 9. Mostly good expression, a good level of verbosity, some nice sentence constructions (and some dismal ones that come as roundhouse kicks to the face, too), but nonetheless it was awesome.

Great essay. I really, really highly recommend you put this in the English Work Examples directory for all to see!

VivaTequila

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Re: On The Waterfront
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 08:45:12 pm »
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I added this to the English Work Examples Directory. Please let me or a mod know if you want it taken down.

cassettekid

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Re: On The Waterfront
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2012, 07:19:09 pm »
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Oh wow thanks so much for your feedback! I have my text response SAC tomorrow so your tips have helped immensely.

I don't mind at all if the essay is in the English Work Examples Directory - it's a huge compliment! :)
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vinzoid

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Re: On The Waterfront
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 05:20:23 pm »
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Im not sure why a lot of it has a line going through it...hopefully it's still legible

Lasercookie

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Re: On The Waterfront
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 05:43:13 pm »
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Im not sure why a lot of it has a line going through it...hopefully it's still legible
Quote
Even so, the extent of his victimisation remains questionable, as he is still presented to be a prominent figure of affluence. Relative to the rest of the rest of the community, Friendly is financially superior. Frequently identified by lavish items of clothing such as “hundred dollar suits” or “camel hair coat[ s ]”,

The strikethrough is because of that "camel hair coat(s)" line, you added the [ s ] (but without the spaces).

vinzoid

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Re: On The Waterfront
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 07:56:31 pm »
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Thanks laser :)

dilks

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Re: On The Waterfront
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 11:09:06 am »
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Im not sure why a lot of it has a line going through it...hopefully it's still legible
Quote
Even so, the extent of his victimisation remains questionable, as he is still presented to be a prominent figure of affluence. Relative to the rest of the rest of the community, Friendly is financially superior. Frequently identified by lavish items of clothing such as “hundred dollar suits” or “camel hair coat[ s ]”,

The strikethrough is because of that "camel hair coat(s)" line, you added the [ s ] (but without the spaces).

That line is wrong anyway. Charley is the one who is identified as wearing a camel hair coat not Friendly.
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