How Is the Machine Portrayed in Charlie Chaplin's Film 'Modern Times'

Topics: Charlie Chaplin, Conveyor belt, Sydney Chaplin Pages: 2 (477 words) Published: May 14, 2013
In Charlie Chaplin’s film ‘Modern Times’, The machine is portrayed as controlling and appears to be taking over society. Technology such as clocks, radios, television, and factory machines are used throughout the film and are all significant elements to the message that Chaplin is trying to bring across. It was made during the time of the great depression as well as mass production. The world was becoming fascinated with new technology, because it was a quicker and easier way to make money. This was one of the elements to the world around us becoming more mechanised and industrialised. The machine could be treated in two ways, ‘the worker’ or ‘the employee’, both may be argued. Although these are the facts, Charlie Chaplin’s film is shown to portray the machine as evil and controlling in the eye of the workers in scenes, as well as the audience. One of the main scenes throughout the film is the scene in which a new machine is invented in order to abolish breaks of the workers. This important to the owners of the factory, as it would make room for more working time, therefore it would bring in more money. This shows that the machine makes even the workers most personal undertakings, such as eating, become regulated and automated. Chaplin’s job at the factory (Electro Steel Cooperation) of tightening bolts on an assembly line shows the hardship that came along with these new inventions. The constant repetition of tightening the bolts on the conveyer belts reflected to the audience that the workers were in some way extensions of the machines. One slight distraction from working on the machines destroys the whole process and the whole factory suffers. This is shown clearly in the scene where Chaplin is distracted by a fly buzzing around his face while working, which forces him to run down the line of the conveyer belt to tighten bolts that he had missed. This reveals to us that if you are not working in time of the machine then nothing will be complete, also adding...
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