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Charlie Chaplin - The Tramp



Charlie Chaplin - The Tramp
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.82

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    peppy, workhouses, performers, comedy, communism, filmmakers, peers, telegram, slapstick, wealthy, citizenship, legacy, rumor, successful, beloved, heading
     content words:    Charlie Chaplin, United States, Mack Sennett, Keystone Cops, Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, Great Dictator, Paulette Goddard, Oona O'Neill


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Charlie Chaplin - The Tramp
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Movies were different in the early 1900s from what they are today. You had to read to enjoy the story. They were called "silent movies." The only sound you might have heard was the music played on a piano. The pianist played songs that helped the viewer get into the mood of the scene. The music was fast for chase scenes. The music was slow and romantic for love scenes. The music was peppy for comic scenes. Every so often, words were shown on the screen. The words were to show what the characters were saying.
 
2     One of the most beloved characters in silent movies was "the tramp." Charlie Chaplin portrayed the tramp. He wore a bowler hat. This hat got its name because it looked like a bowl turned upside down on the head. He wore a very tight coat and very big trousers and shoes. He always carried a cane. He had a mustache that looked like a black toothbrush just under his nose. People all over the world grew to love the comic antics of the tramp.
 
3     Charlie Chaplin developed his tramp character over many years. He had a sad childhood. The tramp character gave him an escape from his problems. He was born in England in 1889. His father left home shortly after Charlie was born. His mother had an ongoing battle with mental illness. Charlie and his older half brother, Sidney, were sent to workhouses and orphanages when their mother was not able to care for them.

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