The Terminal Essay-Derek Hryciuk November 30, 2014


The Terminal is a movie that came out in 2004 directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Andrew Niccol who also was the executive producer of the film. It is a well written movie that discretely shows many hidden ideas throughout the entire film such as the huge message, waiting. This quality is shown in so many different areas of the movie both obvious, and difficult to see. I will explain how Mr. Navorski copes with waiting, others such as Amelia and Dixon cope with waiting and Niccol is trying to send us a general message, which is that our society needs to wait more in order to be more successful.


Viktor has a quality that you either have, or you don’t have.  If there is one word to describe how Viktor Navorski waits, it’s the word ‘Patience’. Throughout almost every situation, he is faced with the challenge of waiting but responds with patience and self-sacrifice. One popular story that reflects Navorski well is the works of Eleanor of Aquitane. Eleanor was a famous queen who reigned over both England and France at separate times in her life. She introduced the idea that love was a system and could be obtained by following a pre-defined order, which was fegnedor, worshipping from a distance, precador, when she permitted him to pay court, etenedor, when he could dedicate his song to her and drut, when the ultimate love was accepted. He followed all these steps for Amelia and also followed her laws of chivalry with patience and love. Or even the much larger example when he decides to stay at the airport like he was told to when he could’ve just left and leave it all behind so he could continue with his mission which was to get a signature from Benny Golsen for his dead father who was only missing one signature. Coming from Krakhozia he didn’t understand English but the very first word he learned happened to be ‘friend’.  That showed how he would act and respond to situations throughout the rest of the movie. He consistently helps others while he was waiting and doesn’t expect anything in return after he assists them. Anybody can wait for something, but it takes a person with good qualities to respond to waiting with patience and self-sacrifice, and if you have those two qualities then waiting should be pretty easy for you and coping with it won’t be a problem.


Waiting can be hard for those who don’t possess the qualities which is why many characters in the Terminal such as Amelia and Dixon who do have situations in which they are waiting, but the difference is that Navorski mostly waits for the good of others, however Dixon and Amelia are waiting only for the good of themselves. For example Dixon is waiting to become Field Commissioner so he can make more money and so he can be addressed in a higher standard. Amelia has been waiting 5 years for her man the SilverMax to finally commit to her fully but according to some hints in the film she is only waiting in the mindset of herself and her own selfish needs. Dixon can be well represented by our very own villain, the Devil. The Devil loves deceit, and so does Dixon when he attempts to trick Navorski into breaking the law by leaving the airport. The Devil doesn’t comprehend mercy, such as when Dixon decides to confiscate the life saving drugs the Russian man needs for his father. However, just like our friend Dixon, Satan does act like he is good and understands mercy. Dixon allowed Navorski to go back home instead of going into New York. Navorski almost took the deal but said no. Dixon then revealed his real intentions and threatened to arrest his friends if he denied. Just like the Devil, he’s a liar. Amelia is also one who can’t manage to wait. Every time she is faced with waiting she responds with impatience. Navorski consistently tries to introduce Amelia to waiting, but she just can’t. If you are only coping with waiting because of your own wants then you will find it hard to manage.


The message Niccol is trying to send us is that when times are getting hard most of us tend to try to resolve it as quickly as possible without thinking long enough, instead of being patient and waiting to solve our problems. He is trying to tell us to slow down and wait a bit to figure out our problems and maybe our waiting will get us somewhere. However, he isn’t only telling us to wait he is also showing us to be patient while we wait, because just waiting isn’t enough. You may think patience and waiting are the same, but I assure you they are not. Waiting does not necessarily require patience as you can definitely wait and be impatient at the same time, however patience does require waiting. Many characters in the terminal are all faced with waiting but only a small handful actually respond with patience. Patience means that you are using waiting to your advantage. Mr. Navorski does a lot of good things while waiting but he never complains. Anybody can just wait but it’s patience that makes Navorski different. After all, even though Navorski had quite the struggle completing his quest, he did finish it. If he would’ve given up and just left the airport illegally or take the easy way out and simply go home when given the option. Waiting may be hard but will usually give you a good result. The overall message he is sending is that waiting is a good, but it requires patience to be successful, and most of us instead use impatience while waiting.



The movie Terminal has many different messages in this film but the largest and perhaps direct one is that waiting is good, and it requires patience. Mr.Navorski copes with waiting better than the rest of us because he is patient. The other characters when faced with waiting do wait but respond to it with impatience or selfishness. The general message is that us humans as a race and civilization should choose to wait more often and do great things as we wait or at least be patient and selfless.





Mr. Navorski waiting patiently to attempt to talk to the security.

The picture is in fact showing Mr. Navorski waiting patiently in order to talk to the Customs lady Torres. He isn’t waiting for the good of himself because he could technically skip ahead in order to shorten his waiting time. This picture shows that Mr. Navorski continuously waits and copes with waiting using patience.

Amelia has been waiting for a phone call from a special someone who may or may not be Max. If it is Max however, although if it is him then she has been waiting just like Navorski, but without patience and for her own selfish needs thus further showing that most of us can wait but not in the right way.






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  1. This was a strong essay with a good message. However you could add a little more to your first and last paragraph to really get the message across. Also adding 5 “enters” between each paragraph does not make it longer or add more details, it just wastes paper. So be constant with the amount of “enters” you use. 🙂

    Comment by Malcolm — December 8, 2014 @ 1:39 PM

  2. This is a really well done essay but 1 thing i noticed is that your 2 paragraphs seems to stick together Mr. Sader showed me how to fix that just click text in editing them space them, then click update and it should be fixed. 🙂

    Comment by Austin — December 9, 2014 @ 1:38 PM

  3. In your essay I noticed you had the wrong country its Bulgaria not Belgium

    Comment by Austin — January 19, 2015 @ 1:26 PM

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