Essay on Chaplin and Fascism

Essay on Chaplin and Fascism

Length: 1239 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the second decade of the twentieth century, a man named Charlie Chaplin achieved world fame through cinema. He did so even before the cinema had come of age. Chaplin’s contribution to the development of cinema was nothing short of enormous. The time in which Chaplin’s career was flourishing, was also a time when the world was experiencing many problems. Chaplin’s personal beliefs, in combination with the events happening in the world at the time, were a driving force in what message one of his later films carried.
     Many historians note the similarity of Chaplin to Hitler. One of the most apparent facts is that they were both born within four days of each other in the year 1889. Furthermore, the two men bore a resemblance as adults, and a demand for “strict control over their subordinates when, as adults, they achieved positions of power.” (Maland, 164) In the 1940’s, Chaplin chose to make a film entitled The Great Dictator, in which he played a Jewish ghetto resident under the regime of Adenoid Hynkel (also played by Chaplin). The similarity of Hynkel to Adolf Hitler wasn’t exactly a coincidence. Being Chaplin’s first sound film with dialogue, he decided to make it an attack on fascism. The leading symbol of fascism in that time, of course was Hitler. In the film, Hynkel is portrayed as a loud-mouthed fanatical fool. (McDonald, Conway, Ricci, 206) Chaplin always disliked the idea of being compared to the German ruler, despite the obvious similarities.
     There is much evidence that Chaplin had a good reason to dislike the Nazis, despite the many similarities he had in his public appearance. He had a great dislike for authoritarian government, especially its dehumanizing aspects. These beliefs were brought into full light with a 1937 short story Chaplin wrote entitled: Rhythm: A story of Men in Macabre Movement. Al Hirschfeld said “Chaplin was on the side of the angels. He was for the downtrodden…” (Vance, 299) Chaplin’s memoirs and public statements made it clear that he felt great disgust with Anti-Semitism. He had spoken out against it many times, and it was clear that he had never intended it as a PR move. Also, keep in mind that during this time pro-Jewish feelings were not received warmly when openly expressed in the public.
     The Nazis objected to Chaplin entirely, ...


... middle of paper ...


...can left. This only added to problems however, in that he was now more prone to attacks accusing him of “leftism.” Another facet of Chaplin’s life that was adversely effected, was his love life. He could no longer fuse his own personality with that of the tramp, and try to gain sympathy through that fusion.
     Charlie Chaplin’s stark political views were a major factor in the decline of his popularity. It’s ironic, that in retrospect, Chaplin was merely a voice of common sense, and for it he was cast out of the country that brought him his fortune.
As David Gernstein puts it: “Perhaps Charles Chaplin himself was Adenoid Hynkel’s sorriest victim.”

Bibliography:

Gernstein, David. “Charlie Chaplin: An online Celebration” (February 1996) 14      December 1996. http://wso.williams.com/~dgerstei/chaplin/intro.html

Maland, Charles Chaplin and American Culture: The Evolution of a Star Image. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1989.

McDonald, Gerald ed., and Conway, Michael ed., and Ricci, Mark ed. The Films of Charlie Chaplin. New York: Bonanza Books, MCMLXV.

Vance, Jeffrey Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 2003.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Charlie Chaplin 's Film The Great Dictator Essay

- Charlie Chaplin 's film The Great Dictator (1940) was released in the United Kingdom in December of 1940 and in the United States in March of 1941. World War II has already started, but the United States had yet to enter the War. The film mocks Adolf Hitler and his allies while showing the hardships that the Jews were facing while living in Germany. The film takes a sharp turn from a slapstick comedy to a call to overthrow fascism and to have compassion for our fellow man in the film 's final speech....   [tags: Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, World War II]

Strong Essays
1320 words (3.8 pages)

Fascism And The Truths Of Fascism Essay

- As a general belief, people automatically assume that fascism is outright cruel and unreasonable, just because some guy with a toothbrush mustache had a knack for killing Jews. This statement may seem ignorant of the lives lost and the actual brutality of the Third Reich, in reality, that case was only a dark stain on the name of fascism. To truly understand fascism and the truths that it holds, one must look past the executed and the executioners into the causes and effects of fascism in Germany and in any potentially fascist nation....   [tags: Fascism, Nazi Germany, Benito Mussolini]

Strong Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Analysis Of Guy Vanderhaeghe 's ' The Old 's Boy ' Essay

- A cinematic experience offers a false projection of the world that people have the desire to indulge in. In Guy Vanderhaeghe’s novel, The Englishman’s Boy, the portrayal of the film as a whole is consistent with Chance’s vision to rewrite the story of the Cypress Hills Massacre of 1873 as a mythic history of the settling of the American west. Film has the power to access an aspect of reality somehow absent in other media. One could argue that film brainwashes people and alters reality when it is both projected and screened....   [tags: Film, Film theory, Fascism, Narrative]

Strong Essays
781 words (2.2 pages)

Comparing Fascism And Nazism And Fascism Essay

- Comparing Fascism and Nazism Fascism and Nazism both come from the same part of the world. Which can led to misunderstanding on what is going on in the world. Fascism and Nazism are a substantial topic to talk about, but they are different and the same in many ways. Its important for people to understand the similarities and differences they have in our world. The roots of fascism started after World War I in 1914. In Europe government became successful in national industrial in the late nineteenth century....   [tags: Fascism, Nazi Germany, Nazism, World War I]

Strong Essays
1415 words (4 pages)

Fascism And The Creation Of Fascism Essay

- Each and every individual country has its own ideologies, economies, and ways of governing. In the early 1900’s Italy had developed its own ideology that had a huge impact on the lives of the Italian people. This ideology was known as Fascism. Fascism was not only a way of governing, but it was also known as a social organization. Fascism became what it was in response to the movement of social theories. There is much more behind the idea of fascism such as where it came from, who the creator of Fascism was, and why it was popular among many civilians....   [tags: Fascism, Benito Mussolini, Socialism, World War II]

Strong Essays
1270 words (3.6 pages)

The Death Of Charlie Chaplin Essay

- Dancing has always been my passion, even though dancing was not an innate gift. Although this may be true, I have seen dancing as an interpretation of thoughts, feelings and more. In the case of Charlie Chaplin he used his performances on all his films, in my opinion, as a communication contrivance to show the reality of the hardships life can bring. Chaplin’s movements and filmmaking experience allow the audience to not only is a visual spectator but also to feel and understand Chaplin’s standpoint on the interpreted meaning of his films....   [tags: Charlie Chaplin, Silent film, The Great Dictator]

Strong Essays
744 words (2.1 pages)

Fascism : A New Way Of Thinking Essay

- Fascism is such a unique form of government, and it needs the right conditions to form. Unfortunately, for many countries, and Italy specifically, fascism typically begins to grow after the previous political system failed. The political systems fail during or after the loss of a war, resulting in serious turmoil and corruption throughout the country, even with a powerful, charismatic leader trying to save the country. The Italian political system was extremely flawed because the ideals of fascism were lost as Benito Mussolini’s charisma and appeal took the forefront....   [tags: Fascism, Benito Mussolini, Italian Fascism]

Strong Essays
1284 words (3.7 pages)

Charlie Chaplin Essays

- Sir Charles Chaplin’s speech from the 1940 motion picture called The Great Dictator was extremely hard-hitting and inspirational. It did very well to get the message across. His speech was a cry for help on behalf of many civilians, demanding a much needed change in the world back in the 1940s. He briefly touched on the intensity of the problem and what it could become in the future if no action would be taken. In doing so, he maintained respect with the audience; rather than talking down to them, he put himself onto their level without being too familiar....   [tags: Charlie Chaplin Essay]

Strong Essays
1373 words (3.9 pages)

The Comic Hero in Aristophanes and Charlie Chaplin Essay

- The Comic Hero in Aristophanes and Charlie Chaplin The comedic works of both Aristophanes, a fifth-century ancient Greek playwright, and Charlie Chaplin, an actor of the early twentieth century, center around one character. Aristophanes' play Clouds, first produced in 423 B.C.E., concerns Strepsiades and his many debts; he plans to learn from Socrates the art of the Inferior Argument so that he may convince his creditors that he does not have to pay them anything after all. In his later play Birds, first produced in 414 B.C.E., the main character is Makemedo, a man so determined to get out of Athens that he convinces a collection of birds to defy the gods, establish themselves as the ruler...   [tags: Cominc Hero Aristophanes Chaplin Essays]

Free Essays
1204 words (3.4 pages)

Charlie Chaplin Essay

- Charlie Chaplin “It is absolutely no exaggeration to say that for the greatest part of this century Charlie Chaplin was the most recognizable human being on the planet,” (Burr, 20). Chaplin did everything in show business; he was an actor, director, screenwriter, producer and composer, (Reader‘s Companion 157). He was the ideal rags to riches role model that every American dreamed of becoming. Charlie Chaplin revolutionized American show business and inspired Americans to follow their dreams because he was proof that even underdogs could make it to the top....   [tags: Biography Biographies Chaplin Essays]

Strong Essays
1922 words (5.5 pages)