Analyzing Themes In The Godfather English Literature Essay

1331 words (5 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 English Literature Reference this

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Did you ever wonder how and why some people always get away with everything they do? How rules and laws just didn't seem to apply to the families and friends of neighbors and people you know. Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be in the hands of people who, the day before didn't have two pennies to rub together. Welcome to the life and times of one mafia family who did it all.

"Behind every great fortune there is a crime" (Balzac).

Due to all of this power that the person extrudes to people looking in, outsiders see this person or persons as a safety; someone who could protect them, if the proper favor was done in the place, of the protection the "high power" is giving them. This builds the "Underboss" or in this case the "Don" to a higher power, the power of respect. 

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What did it mean to be a Godfather and a Don, what was the big importance of his being? The Don was no ordinary man, he was very respectful and recieved the same respect back from his family and friends. The Don would never go back on his word, if he promised you something he would do everything in his power to get it for you.

"Don Vito Corleone was a man to whom anybody came to for help, and never were they dissapointed"(Puzo94).

"He respected your father as no one else respected him and the Godfather has earned respect from everyone"(Puzo118).

The Don was not just a man, he was like a God, he gave you the things you long wished for but made you work for it as well, to deserve what he had done for you. He was a man with a word that could never be broken.

Respect is one of the most important qualities that the "Underboss" needs to succeed in his line of work. 

Friends of the Corleone family and especially the Don himself, showed their respect to the all powerful man in many ways, most by asking the Don if he would be the Godfather to their son or daughter. The Dons wife would also be asked to be the Godmother of their child. The Don had many Godchildren, all whom which he cared for and helped when they requested him. 

"He became Godfather to Mrs. Columbo's son when he had made his confirmation" (Puzo202).

Johnny Fontane, was the Don's most beloved godchild. 

"Mr. Corleone held the infant Johnny is his hands when he was being baptized" (Puzo58). 

Friendship was also as huge part in the line of showing your respect to the Don, though he would not ask for it he expected the clients that he helped to show their friendship and gratitude to the Don. The Don would do unimaginable favors for his friends and in return, when they were called on by the Don they would have to return the favor to him.

"It was understood, it was mere good manners to proclaim that you were in his debt and that he had the right to call upon you at any time to redeem your debt by some small service" (Puzo8).

Religion plays a huge role in the book, "The Godfather". Though it may not be as obvious as other things in the book, Catholicism was practiced throughout their lives. 

"Mr. Corleone is Johnny Fontane's Godfather. That's a very close, very sacred religious relationship" (Puzo 56).

The Don acted as a guardian to many of his close family friends too, one of which he took in off the street and raised in his home; Tom Hagen. 

"Don Corleone permitted the boy to stay in his household" (Puzo 47).

"In all this the Don acted not as a father but rather as a guardian" (Puzo47).

Though religion was such a huge part in the Corleone family and to the friends of the family, they never seemed to abide by the rules of the highest Catholic law, the 10 Commandments. Though they truly respected their religion, the business they ran never crossed easily with the law. Most of the 10 Commandments had been broken in the family business.

"1st Commandment: I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before me."

"Freddie was always a pretty tough guy. I guess seeing the old man gunned down was hard on him, he always thought the Don was God" (Puzo97).

"5th Commandment: You shall not kill."

"Far down at the foot of his bed was a familiar shape and Woltz struggled up on his elbos to get a clearer look. It had been the shape of a horse's head" (Puzo65).

As it was stated before, the Don would stop at nothing to fulfill the wishes of his Godson, even if it meant to chop the head off of a six hundred thousand dollar horse to get his wish.  The murders didn't stop at animals either, if someone had to be taken care of, the job was sure to be done.

"6th Commandment: You shall not commit adultery."

"His wife was in the kitchen putting the last touches on the serving of the wedding cake. Sonny whispered a few words in the young girl's ear ad she rose. Sonny waited a few minutes and then casually followed her - The maid of honor - was a ripe girl who already had a 'reputation'"(Puzo14).

Though many of the 10 Commandments were broken they still showed a full respect for their religion on a personal level.

The ways of the Corleone family were either on a personal level or on a business level, and in the business you were never to take anything personal, to show your true emotions or let anyone outside of the family business know how you really felt about something, that was considered a weakness; a flaw in the family chain. 

"Santino, never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking. Never let them know what you have under your fingernails." (Puzo72).

One small mistake, like showing your true emotions about a deal could be crucial to the business, and in this case it was.

"Sonny was hot for my deal. Right? You know it's the smart thing to do too. Narcotics is the coming thing. There's so much money in it that everybody can get rich in just a couple of years. The Don was an old 'Moustache Pete,' his day was over but her didn't know it"(Puzo87).

And so came a downfall to the Corleone family.

When you turned your back on your business, you turned your back on the whole family. And thats just what Paulie Gatto, a button man in the business, did to the Corleone family. This almost cause the death of the great Don Vito Corleone.

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"The first bullet caught Don Corleone in the back. He felt the hammer shock of its impact but made his body move toward the car. The next two bullets hi him in the buttocks and sent him sprawling in the middle of the street. Meanwhile the two gunmen, careful not to slip on the rolling fruit , started to follow in order to finish him off. At that moment, perhaps no more than five seconds after the Don's call to his son, Frederico Corleone appeared out of his car, looming over it. The gunmen fired two more hasty shots at the Don lying in the gutter. One hit him in the fleshy part of his arm and the second hit him in the calf of his right leg. Though these wounds were the least serious they bled profusely , forming small pools of blood beside his body. But by this time Don Corleone had lost consciousness"(Puzo78-79).

This was the start of a great war between the mafia families of New York.

The men and women were greatly different in the book "The Godfather". The men, as it is so clearly obvious were always in action, where as the women never concerned themselves with the mens work. Business was never to be discussed with the women of the family, and the women were never suppose to ask. 

"Men should never discuss 'business' with women, and women should never question the judgment of men" (Puzo241).

The women were never involved in any of the business that took place with the men, this was to keep the women and children safe from harm. With that being said, the women obviously abided by all of the !o Commandments, unlike their not so true Catholic husbands.

Did you ever wonder how and why some people always get away with everything they do? How rules and laws just didn't seem to apply to the families and friends of neighbors and people you know. Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be in the hands of people who, the day before didn't have two pennies to rub together. Welcome to the life and times of one mafia family who did it all.

"Behind every great fortune there is a crime" (Balzac).

Due to all of this power that the person extrudes to people looking in, outsiders see this person or persons as a safety; someone who could protect them, if the proper favor was done in the place, of the protection the "high power" is giving them. This builds the "Underboss" or in this case the "Don" to a higher power, the power of respect. 

What did it mean to be a Godfather and a Don, what was the big importance of his being? The Don was no ordinary man, he was very respectful and recieved the same respect back from his family and friends. The Don would never go back on his word, if he promised you something he would do everything in his power to get it for you.

"Don Vito Corleone was a man to whom anybody came to for help, and never were they dissapointed"(Puzo94).

"He respected your father as no one else respected him and the Godfather has earned respect from everyone"(Puzo118).

The Don was not just a man, he was like a God, he gave you the things you long wished for but made you work for it as well, to deserve what he had done for you. He was a man with a word that could never be broken.

Respect is one of the most important qualities that the "Underboss" needs to succeed in his line of work. 

Friends of the Corleone family and especially the Don himself, showed their respect to the all powerful man in many ways, most by asking the Don if he would be the Godfather to their son or daughter. The Dons wife would also be asked to be the Godmother of their child. The Don had many Godchildren, all whom which he cared for and helped when they requested him. 

"He became Godfather to Mrs. Columbo's son when he had made his confirmation" (Puzo202).

Johnny Fontane, was the Don's most beloved godchild. 

"Mr. Corleone held the infant Johnny is his hands when he was being baptized" (Puzo58). 

Friendship was also as huge part in the line of showing your respect to the Don, though he would not ask for it he expected the clients that he helped to show their friendship and gratitude to the Don. The Don would do unimaginable favors for his friends and in return, when they were called on by the Don they would have to return the favor to him.

"It was understood, it was mere good manners to proclaim that you were in his debt and that he had the right to call upon you at any time to redeem your debt by some small service" (Puzo8).

Religion plays a huge role in the book, "The Godfather". Though it may not be as obvious as other things in the book, Catholicism was practiced throughout their lives. 

"Mr. Corleone is Johnny Fontane's Godfather. That's a very close, very sacred religious relationship" (Puzo 56).

The Don acted as a guardian to many of his close family friends too, one of which he took in off the street and raised in his home; Tom Hagen. 

"Don Corleone permitted the boy to stay in his household" (Puzo 47).

"In all this the Don acted not as a father but rather as a guardian" (Puzo47).

Though religion was such a huge part in the Corleone family and to the friends of the family, they never seemed to abide by the rules of the highest Catholic law, the 10 Commandments. Though they truly respected their religion, the business they ran never crossed easily with the law. Most of the 10 Commandments had been broken in the family business.

"1st Commandment: I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before me."

"Freddie was always a pretty tough guy. I guess seeing the old man gunned down was hard on him, he always thought the Don was God" (Puzo97).

"5th Commandment: You shall not kill."

"Far down at the foot of his bed was a familiar shape and Woltz struggled up on his elbos to get a clearer look. It had been the shape of a horse's head" (Puzo65).

As it was stated before, the Don would stop at nothing to fulfill the wishes of his Godson, even if it meant to chop the head off of a six hundred thousand dollar horse to get his wish.  The murders didn't stop at animals either, if someone had to be taken care of, the job was sure to be done.

"6th Commandment: You shall not commit adultery."

"His wife was in the kitchen putting the last touches on the serving of the wedding cake. Sonny whispered a few words in the young girl's ear ad she rose. Sonny waited a few minutes and then casually followed her - The maid of honor - was a ripe girl who already had a 'reputation'"(Puzo14).

Though many of the 10 Commandments were broken they still showed a full respect for their religion on a personal level.

The ways of the Corleone family were either on a personal level or on a business level, and in the business you were never to take anything personal, to show your true emotions or let anyone outside of the family business know how you really felt about something, that was considered a weakness; a flaw in the family chain. 

"Santino, never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking. Never let them know what you have under your fingernails." (Puzo72).

One small mistake, like showing your true emotions about a deal could be crucial to the business, and in this case it was.

"Sonny was hot for my deal. Right? You know it's the smart thing to do too. Narcotics is the coming thing. There's so much money in it that everybody can get rich in just a couple of years. The Don was an old 'Moustache Pete,' his day was over but her didn't know it"(Puzo87).

And so came a downfall to the Corleone family.

When you turned your back on your business, you turned your back on the whole family. And thats just what Paulie Gatto, a button man in the business, did to the Corleone family. This almost cause the death of the great Don Vito Corleone.

"The first bullet caught Don Corleone in the back. He felt the hammer shock of its impact but made his body move toward the car. The next two bullets hi him in the buttocks and sent him sprawling in the middle of the street. Meanwhile the two gunmen, careful not to slip on the rolling fruit , started to follow in order to finish him off. At that moment, perhaps no more than five seconds after the Don's call to his son, Frederico Corleone appeared out of his car, looming over it. The gunmen fired two more hasty shots at the Don lying in the gutter. One hit him in the fleshy part of his arm and the second hit him in the calf of his right leg. Though these wounds were the least serious they bled profusely , forming small pools of blood beside his body. But by this time Don Corleone had lost consciousness"(Puzo78-79).

This was the start of a great war between the mafia families of New York.

The men and women were greatly different in the book "The Godfather". The men, as it is so clearly obvious were always in action, where as the women never concerned themselves with the mens work. Business was never to be discussed with the women of the family, and the women were never suppose to ask. 

"Men should never discuss 'business' with women, and women should never question the judgment of men" (Puzo241).

The women were never involved in any of the business that took place with the men, this was to keep the women and children safe from harm. With that being said, the women obviously abided by all of the !o Commandments, unlike their not so true Catholic husbands.

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