Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator's Controversy

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Controversy Of My Research Topic
Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator’s Controversy
Among the most distinguishable people in the film industry, Charlie Chaplin stands above most. Fewer people can boast of having as successful a career and as much influence than him. Born and raised in London to a poor family, Chaplin used his background to portray the plight of the disadvantaged in society. His use of the “tramp” as his popular character was in consistent with his message. Though in his autobiography Chaplin says that entertainment rather than social or political commentary was his primary motivation, a close analysis of his films clearly display a pattern of socio-political advocacy (Howe 46). In the “Modern Times” which was released in 1936, Chaplin used
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That it made fun of a great historical tragedy. The portrayal of Hynkel’s storm troopers using slapstick was regarded to be a mockery of those who suffered under their hands. Slapstick shows characters to be clumsy, trippy and funny. The Nazi officers were nowhere near that. They were brutal, cold, heartless and unapologetic.
With the above criticisms in mind, it would therefore seem predictable or even morally okay if Chaplin’s legacy was shadowed by this. Surprisingly, it was not. As some viciously attacked “the Great Dictator”, many more applauded it for combining satire and slapstick to raise awareness of the ills of the Nazi era. It availed the perfect medium for many people particularly in the United States who did not know the extent of the Jews’ suffering. The use of Chaplin to portray two different individuals (Hitler and a poor Jew) was considered a genius move. This enabled the audience to picture both of them while appreciating the massive difference between them. One a brutal and heartless dictator, the other a poor and humble
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