Charlie Chaplin, exploitation, factories, industrialization, and sticking up for the working man…

vagabonds and villains

The famous factory scene in Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times in which his character goes mad, is probably one of my favorite scenes ever filmed. Chaplin plays a factory worker who’s mind turns to mush after longs days spent working on a fast moving conveyor belt. After taking a much needed break, he finds himself reluctant to return to the grueling labor he abhors. He pretends to tend to his nails while a co-worker takes over for him. His short break doesn’t last long. He ends up being sucked down the belt and into the guts of the beastly machine.

In real life, Chaplin made the film as a dig towards factories and their owners, particularly Henry Ford. Chaplin was convinced that most factory workers were treated poorly and overworked. I believe he felt as though there was a loss of individualism, which is always dangerous. Anti-authoritism is a motif that…

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2 Responses to Charlie Chaplin, exploitation, factories, industrialization, and sticking up for the working man…

  1. Thanks, Leah. I very much enjoyed the clip. Chaplin was very creative in so many ways, and sadly was treated poorly by J Edgar Hoover and other McCarthyites. I’d like to know more about him so when you get around to it, I look forward to a longer story from you on Chaplin.

  2. Thanks for taking interest in the post. I want to write a longer piece regarding Chaplin and his political views, etc…He is someone who I greatly admire.

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