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“Dog’s Life” by Charlie Chaplin Film Analysis Essay

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Updated: Apr 28th, 2020

Dog’s life is a film produced and directed by Charlie Chaplin. In this film, the producer has used the comic effect to elaborate on the message he intends to deliver to the audience. Dog’s life is a movie that touches on the issues affecting the society; such as, crime, poverty, prostitution, as well as, homelessness. These issues have been illustrated in the plot of the film and have become paramount in the characters’ concern.

In the film, the director has illustrated poverty in various ways. First, poverty is illustrated when poor Charlie is depicted as homeless and stays in a vacant lot. This episode illustrates poverty, as well as, homelessness because, at the beginning of the story, the camera shots amid roof tops that tilt down to reveal Charlie is sleeping amid the rubbish behind a ramshackle fence. Thus, poverty is illustrated by the lack of appropriate accommodation that is demonstrated by the poor living condition of Chaplin.

Moreover, the director has also emphasized on homelessness because he reminds the audience that the homeless person is too poor to afford even the cheapest residential place for accommodation. Another important episode that is illustrated in the story is the shanty; Charlie explains that the place is like a paradise.

Hence, drawing a line of a modest reaction from middle-class audiences but the tramp howls in poor neighborhoods. Unemployment is another social problem that is illustrated in the film. Charlie looks for employment, but the job disappears as soon as he prepares to start his work

Edna is depicted as a prostitute who is not willing to accompany the clients in the dance hall. The director portrays the lady as a person who is used by the clients for lust to satisfy their sexual feelings. This scene is also used to emphasize on Charlie’s poor status because when he enters the dance hall, he is thrown out because he is unable to pay the bill.

Another aspect affecting the society that the author explains is a crime. Crime is elaborated in the episode where those who look for left over’s retrieve some money-filled wallet that had been buried by crooks. The scraps return to the dance hall only to find Edna had been relieved of her job because she is not willing to entertain the clients. The dog is used to describe Charlie’s canine friends during the opening of the episode.

They treat him as a real character instead of a device to be used in the plot development. This also has implications to other characters such as Edna who plays a great role by providing an impression of a naïve but a spirited youngster. This type of characterization provides the film with a comprehensive structure. The lives of the poor are portrayed to live in hand to mouth urban existence. The dogs are portrayed to have much trouble fighting a loose morsel as Charlie’s elbows his way to the employment office.

The dog is also used to describe the condition of other characters such as Edna, a dance hall singer who was enticed to flirt with clients to retain her job. The function of a dog is to serve the master. Crime is another social problem that the director elaborates in the movie when a chance appears for the three characters to escape with the money-filled wallet.

The crooks buried the wallet. Hence this leads to the matter of dealing with criminals. The dogs, as used in this production, poses some problems since some of them are more independent that the human actors are leading to wrangles. In the film, the director described an attempt to use substances in breaking the wrangles among dogs.

Dogs Life has a plot that is very simple to understand and follow, and the symbolic use of dogs describes the pathetic street life that an unemployed and homeless person can experience. Furthermore, sneaking the dogs into the dance hall saves Edna from the mob and the recovery of a stolen wallet filled with money that they used to start a new life are some of the elements used by the director to explain his message, and the themes of the film including; crime, poverty, prostitution, and homelessness.

In conclusion, the film incorporated a street life that looked so real. The street is used as a setting to improve the development of the plot by illustrating street life through the scenes shot in the streets. Dog’s life was shot in front of a market place that formed part of the street.

These scenes are used to create coexistence among the characters as the director relates the behavior of the singer and the tramp to the actions of a dog, hence, developing the plot that cuts across scenes which describe a similar dilemma. The association between the scenes is used as a base for plot development and make the Dog’s life funnier and to have a deeper meaning. In this movie, the director uses the comic effect to emphasize on the hostile realities experienced in street life. These include; prostitution, poverty, and lack of employment.

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""Dog's Life" by Charlie Chaplin Film Analysis." April 28, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dogs-life-by-charlie-chaplin-film-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"Dog's Life" by Charlie Chaplin Film Analysis'. 28 April.

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