Books and Movies Reviews

Failures at Conventional Married Life Failures in Wooing the Feminine Women in The Tramp and One Week

Both Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton are often heralded as cinematic
comedic pioneers.However, in both of these comedian’s short films,
entitled “The Tramp” and “One Week,” each comedian makes use of common
stereotypes of women, and also of common stereotypes of romantic
relationships between men and women, to illustrate their comedic creations’
personality deviations from the conventional masculine roles of domestic
success.Both men in the two films function as failures in the domestic
realm. This parallels their failures in conventional life and successes at
comedic life. At the end of both films, rejections of conventional
domesticity and the feminine become symbolic of these men’s failures at
conventional, masculine life, but also of their success in the world-upside
down comedic, even heroic realm, of unconventional physical prowess and
This is not to deny the groundbreaking efforts of both comedians.
Surely, one of the seminal works of early comedy cinema is undoubtedly
Charlie Chaplin’s 1915 short film “The Tramp” because of its introduction
of Chaplin’s famous persona, The Little Tramp. As is indicative of the
film’s title, this story sets the tone and theme of almost all of the films
Chaplin’s major comedic character was to appear in.In this particular
film, the tramp’sfirst incarnation is that of a hobo who finds love by the
side of a road.There is a strong association in the film between food,
femininity, and the central protagonist’s desire to find a place in a
world.For instance, at the beginning of theshort,’ another tramp-like
character, only a vicious one, tricks Chaplin’s character into giving up
his only sandwich for a brick.Because of this, the tramp must eat grass.
But because of the tramp’s willingness to trust he finds a more
permanent source of sustenance.When the deceitful tramp tries to take
advantage of a farmer’s daughte…

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