Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times - the Machine

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 309
  • Published : May 20, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Discuss critically the ways in which the machine is treated in ‘Modern Times’. In 500 words your critique of ‘Modern Times’ must describe and comment upon specific scenes in the film.

In the film 'Modern Times' written and directed by Charlie Chaplin, he attempts to keep up with the ever changing and improving modern, industrial society. The machine in the film is a new invention and concept, one that is unfamiliar to the workers. Characters struggle to keep up with this mechanism, as it does not cater for human needs when Chaplin fails to keep up with its fast pace. The machine is treated as if it is of more worth than human life. The bodies of workers are dragged through machinery chains and moving belts in all of Chaplin's factory jobs. Chaplin is driven to a state of a mental breakdown where he cannot stop tightening anything that resemble two bolts to the stage where he is now the machine himself. Following this, he finds it hard to keep a steady job and is found to be constantly in trouble with authority.

Chaplin and his other co-workers in the factory become stuck in the machine age. In the film, the machine is owned by the upper class, operating for their benefit. In the film it is seen that only the police and people of high authority own cars, and in total, the machine is detrimental for the poorer people of society. Chaplin's job causes instability in his life, as he found life easier in jail where he did not have to deal with mechanisation that has appeared to have thrown the industrialised world into disarray. The representation of machines in 'Modern Times' is a reflection of pre-world war 2 when there was an increase in industrial production for the war effort. This can be attributed as to why the machinery in the film is treated with such importance and high value, seen in one of Chaplin's many jobs, when his boss is churned through the engines, motors and pulleys of a machine quite aggressively.

Chaplin in 'Modern Times' is an...
tracking img