Expression of the “Unconscious” under the mask of Charlie - the Tramp
A psychoanalytic approach to Dream sequences of select films of Charlie Chaplin
Keywords:Chaplin, tramp, dreams, unconscious, wish.
Charlie Chaplin, an iconic comedian of the silent film and one of the famous stars of the twentieth-century silent film era, has extensively employed “dream sequences” in his slapstick comedies. It is a well-known fact that his formative years were miserable, filled with hardships and deprivations (devoid of even the basics of survival) — the memories and impressions of which occupy a significant portion of his unconscious mind. A mime performer and an artist, Chaplin entered the silent film industry and took it as a medium to express his ideas and values regarding life. It has been observed that studies on Chaplin’s Tramp mainly aim at analyzing his screen persona, Charlie ─ the tramp, to gauge the psyche of Chaplin ─ the artist. The current paper aims at determining two things: firstly to analyze that “dream sequences” are the expression of Chaplin’s unfulfilled wishes and desires manifested through Tramp’s wishes and Secondly to explore that “dream sequences” further Tramp’s optimism towards life which again is a reflection of Chaplin’s mind. The dream sequences of the Tramp provide glimpse into Chaplin’s mind. In this paper, the dream sequences of Chaplin’s Tramp in his select films will be analyzed through the dream theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, the renowned psychologists.
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