Cinema Paradiso Comparative Sample Answer

Section 2-Comprative

70 Marks

(All of the candidates’ own spelling, punctuation etc. have been retained.)


2. “A key moment in a narrative text can illustrate a theme or issue very powerfully.”

  1. Choose one of the texts you studied as part of your comparative course and show how an important moment from it illustrates a theme or issue. (30)

Cinema Paradiso has many warm and tender scenes that deal effectively with the theme of relationships. I find this a very moving film and agree with the critic who said, in Empire magazine, that “if at some time during this film you do not have a lump in your throat, then you have no heart.”

A key moment that illustrates the theme of relationships would be when Alfredo tells the young Salvatore to leave the island and never return, on the platform. I think it perfectly displays how their relationship has developed over the years. From those initial forays into the projectionist’s booth by the cheeky

urchin Toto to the fire in the Cinema, to the building of the new Paradiso and Toto employed as the new projectionist.

Alfredo, who became even more enlightened after he lo st his sight, became mentor and surrogate father. With extremely wise proclamations he advised and guided the young Salvatore through the tricky years of adolescence. I think we all wish we had a father figure like Alfredo for those turbulent years. I

know I do.

The relationship is an interesting one, because despite all the old man’s wisdom and his Zen like state of unnatural calm, he’s still just a blind elderly man. So an interesting interdependence develops between them. The juvenile Salvatore acts as eyes for the wise Alfredo, while Alfredo doles out nuggets of wisdom.

I found it impossible not to be dumbstruck by the raw emotion displayed by Alfredo as he clutches Salvatore’s face and tells him to never return. Alfredo loves the young boy like his own son. He has shared in every trial and tribulation in ways that no parent ever could. I know mine couldn’t, ho...

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