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Great Characters Wiki

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The Tramp is Charlie Chaplin's most memorable on-screen character and an icon in world cinema during the era of silent film.

Why He Rocks

  1. He's one of the silent era's most iconic characters ever created, along with one of the funniest.
    1. He walks in a funny way (properly because of his clothing style.)
  2. During the silent age, the character was basically Chaplin's from of creating his own liberal political beliefs, as most of the Tramp's films address some major social injustice for its time in a humorous way.
    • The Gold Rush is about the Klondike Gold Rush of the very late 19th century and how various people survived it.
    • City Lights is not only rebelling against talkie movies going in style, but honoring the simplicity of telling a simple story.
    • Modern Times is about how technology is getting more advanced and needs to be adjusted to quickly, and pokes fun at wealthy business leaders and oppressed workers in the 1930s during the Great Depression.
  3. His appearance and outfit is super ideal for comedy. Including the bowler hat, his cane, his small mustache among others.
  4. Chaplin's able to perfectly portray emotions for the Tramp without having to speak out loud so he would be universally understood.
    1. The closest we get to Tramp speaking is his "singing waiter" number in Modern Times. Which is genius, because Tramp would be speaking and staying to his silent self at the same time.
  5. He's usually portrayed as a punching bag in his films, but he still manages to make the best out of any situation.
  6. He occasionally manages to be a hero even when he's not trying to.
    1. In Modern Times for example, when he ended up in prison-because he was falsely accused of being the leader of a group of protesting workers- he accidently ate some cocaine (or "nose powder" as they call it.), which made him drunk and lose his way to his cell. But this also led him to a trio of jailbreakers attempting to escape, which the Tramp managed to defeat thus saving the warden's life.
  7. He's proven several times to be super polite, selfless and kind-hearted
    • In The Kid he was willing to adopt and protect a lost child.
    • In City Lights he falls in love with a girl who turns out to be blind and became her breadwinner as constantly made sacrifices to provide her the money to save her and her grandmother's house and afford even for a Viennese eye specialist in town who can cure the girl's blindness. Is it any wonder the girl accepted the Tramp for who he was once she realized he was the savior, rather the rich guy she was expecting
      • In that same movie, Tramp's constantly preventing a man from committing suicide, who turns out to be a millionaire. And even though the man befriends him while drunk, and always disposes of him whenever he's normal, he never gets upset with him and just wants his personal safety.

Trivia

  • The Tramp came in 38th place in the Heroes category on AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains countdown.
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