Stewart, Garrett. "Modern Hard Times: Chaplin and the Cinema of Self Reflection." Critical Inquiry 3 (1976): 295-314.
This article compares the film Modern Times to the Dickens' novel Hard Times both acting a social satires on the pressures and challenges people faced in specific conditions and times. The article mentions Chaplin's own personal life growing up in Britain may be one reason why these two authors are similar in subject nature of their works. They both were against the factory system. Chaplin learned of a true story of a workers going crazy after years working as part of an assembly line. Chaplin's character during the factory sequence has becomed so accustomed to the 'bolt-tightening' behaviors, he literally cannot stop, even when he is forced away from the assembly line for disrupting the flow. Comical? Yes. However, it shows how dangerous this type of work can be on the psyche.
This article is important to my thesis because it specifically demonstrates how Chaplin critiques industrialization in his film scenes. "Charlie as robotized victim of the machine extends this into a frontal assault on industrialization" (Stewart 297-298). Chaplin attacks industrialization by showing that workers become robot-like in their work. This robotization extends from the workplace into the rest of their lives (and what little they have of it) creating a homogenized society. The articles also discusses why Chaplin may have this critique of industrialization and the homogenized society. The article also mentions that Chaplin's personal reasons may be an implication as to why he createad the film. A story that he heard or workers in Detriot becoming 'nervous wrecks' after years at the mercy of large machines in factories. These workers had been functioning individuals with unique personalities. But after years at the mercy of the assembly line system, they became roboticized to perform, eventually forcing them to break down.