Charlie Chaplin: Tramp The Commentator

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Tramp the Commentator
Wandering around the streets of London with his bowler hat, baggy pants, endearing toothbrush mustache, and exaggerated shuffling walk with a cane, Charlie Chaplin’s best-known character, the Tramp, resonated with the working class of the twentieth century. Considered to be the icon of the silent film era during the 1920s, Chaplin created and acted as the Tramp in his own silent films, those with no spoken dialogue. Many of his films tackled societal problems, not only in America, but also on global scale. Through the Tramp, Chaplin was able to connect with his audience and freely express his thoughts. Likewise, The Kid is a film about the Little Tramp who cares for an abandoned child, the Kid, but must fight the authorities
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His use of symbols provides a greater insight into the film, thus revealing society’s problems to his audience. Through the actions of the Kid’s rich biological father in rejecting the Kid’s mother and indirectly forcing her to abandon the child, Chaplin highlights the uncaring ignorance of the upper class on poverty and sufferings among the working class. He goes further and describes the poor conditions in which the working class lived when the Tramp takes the Kid to his apartment, tiny, dirty, and in need of repair and even sanitation. The inadequate conditions of the room are unchanging throughout the film and even worsen over time (The Kid), portraying the reality of the working class in the capitalist society of the twentieth century. In an attempt to bring the Kid back to his birth mother, the Country Orphan Asylum forcibly takes the boy away from the Tramp (The Kid). This vulnerable position of the Kid is symbolic of an ordinary factory worker’s position. Because factories had begun to use more machines, the nature of work changed from skilled labor to unskilled labor, thus making most workers dispensable. Using the fate of the Tramp and the Kid, Chaplin emphasized the helplessness of the people who were subject to the society’s trends, and he conveys this through skillful
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