Modern Times

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Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times

The film Modern Times done by Chaplin can be described as a satire of the machine age and has a theme of the dehumanizing effects of different aspects such as modernity, industrialization, urbanization, and even law enforcement. Modern Times was filmed in the 1930s during the era of the Great Depression. The film’s main concerns were directed towards unemployment, poverty, and hunger; however, Chaplin was able to film this in a way where everyone would still be able to enjoy the film. Charlie Chaplin was able to portray the American ideals versus the reality of the 1930s in this silent film. Ideally, every person in the United States wanted to live a successful life, making lots of money. The Great Depression didn’t allow the population to make a sufficient amount of money to support them or their families. People that had jobs were lucky. Although America was in a state of poverty, they still had hoped to live their American Dream.

Every person in America wants to live the stereotypical “American Dream”. The American Dream can be defined in numerous ways but essentially it is an idea which suggests that all people can succeed through hard work, and that all people have the potential to live happy, successful lives. During the Great Depression, many people yearned for this American Dream but with the economy depressing, this reality didn’t allow Americans to live out this dream. In Modern Times, the Little Tramp and the gamin have just escaped the authorities and are sitting on the front lawn where they see a suburban couple parting; this suburban couple represents their American Dream. The Tramp enters into a dream sequence where both he and the gamin are living this couple’s life, their perfect life. He imagines their happy life together in their bright cheery home, where he plucks an orange from a nearby tree, grapes are right outside the kitchen door, and a cow is always available for them to retrieve fresh...
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