Essay on The Earth Trembles: A Cinematic Exploration of Family, Love, and Social Struggles in a Sicilian Fishing Village

Published: 2023-12-07
Essay on The Earth Trembles: A Cinematic Exploration of Family, Love, and Social Struggles in a Sicilian Fishing Village
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Family Movie Character analysis
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 482 words
5 min read

The Valastro family, having lost Ntoni’s father to the sea, work tirelessly just like other fishermen in the small village of Aci Trezza on the east. The Earth Trembles is a dramatic Italian film, directed by Luchino Visconti in 1948, adapted from Malavoglia, a novel written by Giovanni Verga. The film revolves around the exploitation of fishermen, who labor tirelessly to make ends meet at a very small fee. The earth trembles starting with crowded scenes featuring the merchants and fishermen, and gradually settles on the Valastro family (Visconti, 1948). They try to break free of the exploitation, under the influence of Ntoni, the eldest son in the family.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Coast of Sicily. Ntoni is frustrated by their way of life, where they can barely sustain themselves while working every day for a minimal wage. Urged by Ntoni, a better price is demanded by the fishermen, which leads to the fishermen’s arrest. Ntoni also tries to form a cooperative with the other fishermen, but to his disappointment, none of them are up for the idea (Visconti, 1948). Drove by his frustration, Ntoni is determined to make his family’s life better through his fresh ideas, which include selling fish directly to the buyers. The Valastro family, won over by Ntoni, agreed to mortgage their stone house to get finances to buy a boat and to fish and sell independently.

In this film, Ntoni’s role gradually changes from an ordinary character to a protagonist. Ntoni at the beginning of the film, is presented as one of the many ordinary fishermen in the village, but his fresh, open-minded ideas set him apart from the rest. By prompting the fishermen to ask for better wages, Ntoni tries to form a cooperative, and finally convincing his family to be independent, his role completely changes (Visconti, 1948). The visual narrative conveys Ntoni’s changing role through his actions and ideas as the film solely focuses on Ntoni and his family.

The main couples in this film are Mara, Ntoni’s sister, and Nicola, and Ntoni and Nedda. The social status of the families of these couples constantly prevents them from getting married. After the Valastro family becomes independent and climbs up the social ladder, Nicola breaks off his courtship with Mara as it is cited that she is above him in class. Therefore, Nicola surrenders to Mara as he is too poor for her (Visconti, 1948). On the other hand, Ntoni wants to marry Nedda, most especially when his idea to be independent starts to pay off, and their fishing business is a blooming success. However, when things fall apart for Ntoni and his family after losing everything, including the respect they had, Ntoni and Nedda can't get married. The relationship between work and matters of the heart is depicted when none of them can get married due to the working situation they are in.


Visconti, L. (Director). (1948). The Earth Trembles [Film].

Cite this page

Essay on The Earth Trembles: A Cinematic Exploration of Family, Love, and Social Struggles in a Sicilian Fishing Village. (2023, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism