Chasing Charlie Essay

1031 words - 5 pages

Born and raised in London, Charlie Chaplin was a movie screen comedic genius but also a tragic hero. Chaplin spent his childhood in a children’s home while his father was anonymous and mother was mentally ill. Unusual circumstances only called for humor. With eccentricity, Charlie Chaplin could join a show, first dancing and then acting. Moving to America as a child to pursue his acting career, Chaplin took the film industry by storm. Charlie Chaplin was certainly praised for producing glorious silent films, differing from the orthodox political views, and coming to terms with the happenings dealt, setting himself up to be the textbook example of a tragic hero.
Heroism is having valor, ...view middle of the document...

" The film could successfully integrate both the wealthy and the poverty stricken. With such fervor for films, Chaplin contributed spunk back into the lives of the citizens. He also provided comicality and laughter in the beginning of an immense war, WWI. Some would even say that Chaplin “represented the ‘American forgotten man’ and presented the image of stead fast courage in the face of overwhelming social and political obstacles” (Charlie UXL).
A tragic hero plummets on his individual terms and by his personal endeavors. Charlie Chaplin made the gaffe of placing many political views into his work and speech. “Chaplin’s first controversy occurred during WWI when his loyalty to his native country was called into question as he lived in the United States” (World). His 1930-1940s movies were laced with communist principles. Soon after “Chaplin was accused of being a communist by Senator McCarthy, and a file was produced that supposedly detailed his subversive political activities since 1922” (Charlie History). When ‘The Great Dictator’ was released it “added heat to this accusation and caused a stir” within the Hollywood industry and community. Protests and boycotts of the movies Chaplin was producing began to take place, and soon after there were hardly any movies of his playing. Many began to form a strong rage against the man who commented positively toward the Russian government. Although Charlie was a laudable actor, in the words of a Hollywood columnist, “he was, in fact, an anti-American and had no right to go against our customs, to abhor everything we stand for, to throw our hospitality back in our faces…good riddance to bad company” (Turk). After the print of this article, the “charges and trials received extensive press coverage, most of it negatively portraying Chaplin” (Maland). Charlie was subsequently charged with corrupt engagements and being governmentally suspicious. The actor who once represented the American Foreign Man, that presented the vast image of heroism, had then lost everything to unorthodox political views in an overwrought country.
Hated by the public and banished from the Land of...

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