The Modern Times

Topics: Capitalism, Industrial Revolution, Karl Marx Pages: 2 (671 words) Published: February 17, 2009
The differences between Karl Marx and Adam Smith certainly vary, but one particular distinction was hard to miss – their views on the two main economic systems. In the movie, Modern Times, Mr. Chaplin plays the role of a 20’Th century factory worker. Based on how he acted, both Karl Marx and Adam smith responded accordingly: Marx felt sorry for the worker, and to Smith, he was just another worker.

Modern Times focuses on an oppressed assembly-line factory worker that is nearly driven crazy. In a nervous frenzy, he runs madly through the factory, spraying oil everywhere. He is taken to a hospital, but immediately after his release, is arrested when he is mistaken for a radical leader. While in jail, he realizes that it’s even more comfortable than what he’s used to, and ultimately tries to stay! The opening scene, which compares a crowd of workers boarding the subway to a flock of sheep, is Chaplin's warning against standardization, mechanization, and other facets of life which rob men and women of their individuality. In the end, "Modern Times" is a reminder that no matter how bad things are, you can still smile.

The movie portrayed a variety of beliefs about the Industrial Revolution. Probably the most noticeable was the idea that times were hard and rough for society. As shown in the film, people without jobs basically had to live on the streets. Charlie Chaplin even kept trying to get into jail because he thought it was a better, safer place. The viewpoint of Chaplin was reflected through the movie by getting the employed (and unemployed) hardships across to the audience. Not only was it hard for the people that didn’t have jobs, but it was almost as equally hard for the people that did. The only major difference from being employed to unemployed was that you were getting a few dollars. The scene in the jail was almost exactly similar to the factory scene.

Karl Marx ultimately agreed with this movie, mainly because of the fact that he realized the...
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