On the Waterfront

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Quote 2

Edie:   “Which side are you with?”
Terry:   “Me? I’m with me—Terry.”

When nameless thugs ambush the secret meeting, Terry helps Edie escape. As they walk through the park in front of the church, a hesitant Edie tries to figure out who Terry is. She can’t read him because she isn’t familiar with the area or the way the dock works. She doesn’t know who’s who. Terry’s casual answer here reveals a streak of naïveté because, though he may think he’s independent at this point, he’s clearly a pawn of Johnny Friendly and Charlie “the Gent.” He wouldn’t have shown up at the meeting if he were truly on his own. As Terry’s conscience swells inside him, and as he begins to act on that conscience, this statement becomes increasingly true. But at this time, his attempts to distance himself from either side are mere dreaming. Nevertheless, this dreaming reveals his awareness that he wants nothing of the life either side can offer him. Deep down, he’s not a thug, but he’s not a day laborer either. The film traces Terry’s discovery of who that “me” really is.