City Lights

City Lights Imagery

The Girl in the Window

The Blind Girl has returned from her work selling flowers in the street, and waters the plants on the window sill. As she does she hears a man and a woman uniting and going off for a date. As they walk off, we are left with the image of a lonely woman who desires to be loved, but feels cut off from society by her disability and her poverty. It recalls Juliet on her balcony, but without a Romeo.

Eating streamers

The image of Charlie Chaplin shoveling spaghetti into his mouth, completely unaware of the fact that he is also swallowing streamers, is one of the most memorable in the film. His blissful ignorance of the fact that he's eating streamers, and the sight gag of spaghetti and streamers looking so similar, makes this image iconic and especially memorable.

Sleeping on the statue

The first image we see of the Tramp is him sleeping atop a large monument erected in honor of "Peace and Prosperity" in the town square. The image of the Tramp sleeping on the statue is tinged with irony, in that it is somewhat contradictory for a statue celebrating prosperity to serve as a bed for a homeless man. The image represents the divide between the wealthier and more established classes, and the poorer classes. It also introduces us to the Tramp, an ethereal character, perched on a high post, alarmed by the sudden arrival of an audience.

Falling Petals

When the Tramp sees the girl in the flower shop after her sight has been restored, he holds a flower in his hands. As he does, the petals on the flower begin to fall off. The image is both sad and joyful, as the petals represent his heart melting in joy at her sight, and the beauty falling away as she does not recognize him now that she can see.