On the Waterfront

The Role of Mentors in ‘My Brother Jack’ and ‘On the Waterfront’ 11th Grade

Mentors play an important role in shaping the values and morals of the individuals they guide; however, the impact of their contribution ultimately depends on their understanding of the individual’s inherent characteristics. Both Elia Kazan’s film ‘On the Waterfront’ and George Johnston’s ‘My Brother Jack’ delve into the influence of mentors in varying circumstances. While Kazan’s film considers the lack of personal development and internal conflict that occurs when an individual’s morality does not align with that of their mentor, Johnston’s novel utilises the first person perspective to explore the effect of mentors who create an oppressive environment. Both texts, however, highlight an effective mentor respects and understand the individuality of those they influence. Furthermore, both texts present clear warnings about the danger of mentors who have complete domination over those they are guiding, suppressing personal development. Additionally, ‘On the Waterfront’ and ‘My Brother Jack’ showcase the crucial role adaptable mentors have in shaping an individual’s character development.

In both ‘On the Waterfront’ and ‘My Brother Jack’, effective mentors are able to appreciate the individuality of those they guide, while those...

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