The Godfather By Mario Puzo Essay

2010 words - 9 pages

In a world little seen or heard of, the Godfather emerges as the universal symbol of organized crime for all of those who read or watch this tale. From killing Fanucci, a local extortionist, to becoming the most powerful Don in the United States, Vito Corleone’s rise to power is indeed spectacular. The book opens emphasizing the network of friends that Don Corleone has created, starting at the wedding where they have their meetings. After failed negotiations to save his godson Johnny’s movie career, the Don sends Luca Brasi to kill Jack Woltz’s prized $600,000 racehorse and place its head in his bed. This is an example of how the Don can exert his incredible power at will, and Jack Woltz ...view middle of the document...

). In this quote, it is clear that the Don has incredible influence in the world, regardless of his illegal means. Throughout the Godfather’s reign, he is a source of assistance to those that are his friends. They come to him because he is god-like, and can help them in their affairs. The novel begins by describing three characters: Amerigo Bonasera, Johnny Fontane, and Nazorine. Bonasera could not find justice for the brutal assault of his daughter in a courtroom, so he went to the Godfather. Johnny Fontane had lost his voice and was having marital troubles with his adulteress wife, so he went to the Godfather. Nazorine’s daughter Katherine wanted to marry his helper Enzo, but he would be sent back to Italy if nothing was done, so he went to the Godfather. Also in his flashback, Vito Corleone is immediately a “…man of respect…” after rumors circulate about his crime. When a local resident named Signora Colombo is asked to leave her apartment, she comes to then Vito Corleone to solve the issue. Don Corleone will obtain a great reputation for being a leader that acts for the good of the people, and the results seem to make everyone with the Godfather happy.
For those sided with the Corleone family, they will see how much freedom the Godfather has in the coming weeks after their requests. The two “animals” that strike Bonasera’s daughter (Jerry Wagner and Kevin Moonan) are beaten within an inch of their lives by Paulie Gatto’s men, which fulfills Bonasera’s request for revenge on the two offenders. Tom Hagen himself flew to Los Angeles just to make negotiations for Fontane’s role in the new movie, and the Godfather worked quickly to scare Woltz into following his will by, “…mak[ing] him an offer he can’t refuse.” The Godfather continues to help Johnny in his affairs throughout the book, and even through the Corleone’s tough times he will still have a substantial amount of the Corleone fortune invested in his movie career. Nazorine has his request agreed to right away, and a special act of congress for Enzo’s citizenship is passed so that he can stay and marry Katherine. Signora Colombo is allowed to stay in her apartment, and the Don even pays the landlord to assist her payments for the future. James Thomas Chiampi mentions that Don Corleone is a “…rather appealing character…” and that his justice is much more fair than that which could be obtained by law (Chiampi, James). Puzo makes it clear that the Godfather has achieved a freedom through his crime organization to do as he pleases throughout the novel.
Throughout history, many leaders have secured vast amounts of wealth, power, fame, and other benefits that give them freedom. The difficulty is that freedom does not affect their mortality, and the Don’s life is in danger until the moment he dies of a heart attack. Virgil Sollozzo comes to the Godfather with a proposal to smuggle narcotics into the United States. While this deal is very lucrative, the Godfather is...

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