Godfather Moral Downfall Essay

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Critics agree that in The Godfather, the protagonist, Michael Corleone (Mikey) changes from a person with moral principles and a legitimate role in society to a cold-blooded mobster. In the beginning of the movie, Mikey shows his reluctance to involve himself in the Mafia when he tells his girlfriend, Kaye, about his father’s (Vito Corleone) business methods of coercion and says he will never be like his family. However, as Mikey’s involvement with the family business increases his violent tendencies become more apparent as he volunteers to murder a rival thug and a corrupt police officer. In the final scene, Mikey kills his brother-in-law, and when confronted by Kaye, he looks her in the eyes and claims no role in the murder. At this …show more content…
When Mikey presents his plan to eliminate those who plot against Vito, everyone in the room takes pleasure in Mikey's participation, all except his older brother Sonnie. A concern for his brother's safety explains Sonnie's initial reluctance to follow Mikey's plan, but this soon fades. In accordance to the pressures of the group, the Corleones teach loyalty to family, and they continually use the phrase "its not personal, its business" to justify immoral actions to others. Not to mention, the example of the scene where a long time employee of the Corleones is murdered because of his alleged role in Don Corleone’s assassination attempt shows how the Corleone family values loyalty. In turn, disloyalty to the family brings death, so one can only expect that children of the family will adopt a similar set of values as their parents.
Although Mikey attempts to isolate himself from his family, the strength of family ties proves too strong, and he eventually is lured back to the family business. The Corleone family situation constitutes a setting where the family is stressed over the individual, evident by the fact that all of the "children" live at home even though they are grown. They further demonstrate family loyalty at numerous group functions such as weddings and baptisms where many family members attend. More importantly, the Corleone's idea of loyalty is best
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