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The Tramp And The Industrialization Essay

1671 words - 7 pages

Appearing with a Hitler-like moustache, walking in a weird way, and acting hilariously were a few features that I characterized Charlie Chaplin when I was a kid. His acting as the Tramp remained as my most vivid and beautiful memory until this day. However, not until when I grew older, did I know that Charlie Chaplin used his hilarious act to criticize the current society and promote the idea of freedom and equality. According to an interview with Charlie Chaplin, Brian Eggert wrote “his concerns are humanity and its existence within a world where middle class citizens are dehumanized by the surrounding industrialization” (Brian Eggert). That was the reason why he decided to make Modern ...view middle of the document...

Inspired by the sympathy for the plight of the poor at that time, Charles Chaplin went on a world tour to examine the condition of the society during the Great Depression. He also consulted the opinion of some of the most influential scholars at that time like Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein to gather a deeper view about the current situation of the world (Angelo Lopez). Charlie started Modern Times because he was once suffering from poverty. As a child he lost both of his parents, which forced him to live in a workhouse. Although he managed to escape destitution, he still concerned about the difficulties of the poor. All of these elements influenced and shaped Charlie’s conception of Modern Times. Additionally, because the movie was Charlie’s criticism on capitalism, the movie seemed to be politicalized by the critics at that time. Some of critics believed the Tramp was the representation of a “communist sympathizer” (Jorn K. Bramann). Charlie Chaplin was the man who in charge of almost every process in the production of Modern Times, including director, protagonist, screenwriter and music composer (Angelo Lopez). Consequently, he bore a full responsibility over his movie’s political view. In an attempt to defend his character, the Tramp, he said “The question is not whether the country is wet or dry, but whether the country is starved or fed” (Brian Eggert). In another words, originally, the Tramp was not a political figure. In fact, he was Charlie’s illustration of the life of a middle class man during the Great Depression, since his main concern in creating the character was to reflect the plight of the working class.
Ideology criticism is a method, which analyzes symbols used in the rhetorical artifact to show the dominant and resistance sets belief and idea. It allows us to better our understanding of the artifact by open up new possibilities and perspectives that we could use for the purpose of rhetorical criticism. In particular, it evaluates artifacts which is not categorized as speech. Modern times is a silent movie using many simple symbols such as the Tramp, the factory, and the feeding machine, which represent the industrial revolution in the 20th century. Furthermore, using Ideological criticism, we can recognize that Charlie Chaplin use those symbols to construct his criticism on the industrialization.
One of the most iconic representations of the working class in the twenties century is the Tramps – Charlie Chaplin’ friction character. Chaplin used the Tramps to reflect the truth about the living condition of the working class and motivate people to always do their best to achieve a better life. He was portrayed as a thirty year-old carefree guy who looks like he once had a happy life. He always acts in a good and gentlemanly manner. The Tramp has no real home to stay in and his jobs are unstable, which prevents him from building a family of his own. Hunger and poverty surround his everyday life. Unfortunately, during the...

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