Dehumanization Of Workers In The Movie 'Modern Times' By Charlie Chaplin

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Michael Havens 11/26/14 US History Mr.Jones In the Movie Modern Times Charlie Chaplin uses the medium of film to express his views on the treatment of workers. In the movie, the owner of the company uses automation to increase the amount of steel produced, but while he speeds the process up, the workers are at risk. Not only is the work challenging for the workers, it is also dangerous, and this is shown through Chaplin’s various comedic antics. Even at lunch, the owner is willing to deprive them of the lunch break to increase productivity when he allows the inventor to bring in the automatic feeding machine. In the Movie “Modern Times” the greed of the leadership and automatization of work leads to the dehumanization of workers through unrealistic…show more content…
In the movie this is shown after the bellows feeding machine incincendent After the workers lunch break, the assembly line resumes. The monotony of the conveyor belt is interrupted only by occasional speed-ups. The men can barely keep up. Charlie’s nerves finally snap as he suffers a meltdown . He finds himself lying on the conveyor belt, and he disappears into a chute where the tightened plates go. He travels through a maze of conveyor belts while the other workers frantically try to get him out from the depths of the factory. When Charlie finally is extracted from the chute, he does not go back to his job, but insanely looks for objects that look similar to the nuts and bolts he has been tightening: buttons on women's clothing, noses of other workers, etc. From this, Charlie tries to show us that dangerous work conditions like this can lead to near death (or death), and the kinds of effects it has on the surviving workers. In history this was a major problem in the factories. There were many accounts of injuries and brutal deaths. Some estimates say that “each year 1,200 men were killed or injured out of a workforce of about 10,000 working for U.S Steel”. A worker for U.S described one of the accidents he saw, “In plain sight of a hundred fellow‑workmen, Martin Stoffel was cut into small pieces at the Philadelphia Caramel Works ... He was dragged into the machinery and his…show more content…
When he does this, the manager sees him there through his security camera. He then barks at Charlie to get back to work. Charlie then hurries back to his post. When lunch comes around, the workers begin to unpack their lunch . By now the motions of Charlie’s arms have become increasingly spastic. When he tries to move the soup bowl of his co-worker, he splashes the searing liquid all over himself and his co worker. Here, Charlie is trying to show that the corporations denied them of their most personal rights, and in this case, the right to breaks. Also, the fact that the workers are being constantly monitored is an invasion of their privacy. Charlie Chaplin uses both of these points in “Modern Times” to illustrate how workers were denied basic

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