The Godfather by: Mario Puzo Review Essay

3185 Words Oct 3rd, 2010 13 Pages
1. Puzo, Mario. The Godfather. New York, New York, USA: Signet, 1969.

2. The title of the book, The Godfather, is a reference to one of the main characters, Don Vito Corleone. The position of Godfather in the Italian Community is one of great respect, admiration, and affection. Don Vito Corleone is given this title by many as a sign of respect for the favors that he does as well for his cunning, power, and influence.

3. The major conflict of the novel concerns Don Vito Corleone and his youngest son Michael. As the Corleones become engaged in a mob war against four of the other five major crime families of New York, Michael against his intent finds himself succeeding Vito as head of the Corleone Family. The story begins at Connie
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As Sonny is dead, Vito is old, Freddie is incompetent, and Tom Hagen is adopted and not Sicilian, Michael assumes the head of the Corleone Family. Though succession isn’t necessarily by family lines, Michael had already gotten involved in the business when he killed Sollozzo. Following his excursion to Italy, he gained a greater understanding of his father and a different opinion of the criminal activities of the family business. He feels an obligation to his father and to the family and easily the most adept to take over the family. He admires his father and takes over the business for what it offers, respect and power. But he disdains it for what it doesn’t offer legitimacy. Michael’s one great goal is to legitimize the Corleone Family Business. When he proposes to Kay, he says that he intends to legitimize the family business within 5 years. Vito Corleone semi-retires and acts as his son’s Consigliere. During that time they plan to abandon the family’s holdings in New York (handing them over to their Caporegimes, Tessio and Clemenza) and move the family operations to Nevada and start getting into the gambling and hotel business. When Vito dies, it is perceived that the Corleone Family’s power died with it as Michael is perceived weak. However in a brilliant plan he kills Tattaglia and Barzini as well as traitors within the Corleone family such as the Caporegime Tessio and his own brother-in-law, Carol Rizzi. Following this move, he
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