A Deeper Look into The Godfather - Research Paper Example

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When one hear the word Mafia,he might imagine well-dressed men who are sophisticated enough to be suspected as criminals.The Mafia is usually equated to organized crimes where money enters the bank accounts of members by the millions. …
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A Deeper Look into The Godfather
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A Deeper Look Into The Godfather Full When one hear the word Mafia, he might imagine well-dressed men who are sophisticated enough to be suspected as criminals. The Mafia is usually equated to organized crimes where money enters the bank accounts of members not only by the thousands but by the millions. This is the picture that The Godfather clearly illustrates. The lives of seemingly model citizens who gain wealth, power and fame through good works but are somehow exposed to be people who are simply hiding behind facades of well-respected families, giving to charities and even the church. The film spells out lives that one might just imagine to happen in movies and not in reality. Still, digging deeper beyond what is seen, people are able to see that sometimes there are just things that happen that may seem impossible but are agonizingly true like the realities that are exposed in the aforementioned movie. The Godfather is the story of a little boy whose family was murdered during the troubled times of Corleone, a town in Italy, during the early 1900’s. The boy was helped by a family to migrate to New York and he changed his family name, embracing his town’s name as his own. He then grew up to be a hard-working man who was always kind-heated and understanding to the poor and women but he was extremely indignant to abusive citizens most especially with his countrymen. He seldom asked questions but he was very observant and therefore was more insightful than he appeared to be. Probably affected by what he witnessed as a boy, with his mother killed in his presence, the young Corleone easily killed his first victim, a fellow Italian who was looting the illegal Italian immigrants. This started his self-sought obligation to protect the Italians who shared his sentiments. Although he never dreamed of becoming rich by engaging in dirty business, his environment and circumstances called for the need to get into the underworld. Slowly, he rose to power, revered for his ever increasing wealth but feared for his influence and criminal activities. Sadly, crimes and dirty money boomeranged to his family, destroying the people he loved through violence and the involvement in criminal acts. The family that he tried to protect became more vulnerable as he sank deeper and was gripped by the powerful hands of the Mafia (Copolla, 1972). The story of Corleone may seem to be just a tale however, studying the history of Sicily or Italy as a whole, one would be convinced to believe that there is some truth to the story. Between 1900 and 1914, around which the setting of the story started, one million and a half Sicilians were forced to migrate abroad (Mazzesi, 2012). In addition, claims that in New York alone, Sicilian immigrants numbered 500,000 by 1910. This fact was evident in the film wherein a shipload of immigrants together with the young Corleone, reached New York to start a new life. This showed how such a large number of people could migrate to a far away land in just two decades in an era where travel was not easy. “During the first two decades of the twentieth century, residents of the ‘Little Italies’ of many eastern industrialized urban areas had to contend with a crude form of protection racket known as ‘La Mano Nera’ or ‘the Black Hand’” (, 2012). In the film, this situation is portrayed by Fanucci who collects money from the illegal immigrants for the ‘Black Hand” in exchange for what they believed was their ‘protection’. Corleone later killed him. Corleone’s transformation from being a law-abiding individual to the most feared Mafia godfather is just one example of how a person becomes a Mafia member. Mafia groups were usually formed by individuals who have a common interest which is to earn a lot of money. However, since they are oftentimes illegally living in certain areas, they only have illegal means to gain the money they so much want. During the 1920 Prohibition Era, the manufacture and sale of alcohol was illegal but Italian-American gangs saw their opportunity in the business that they developed their skill in smuggling, money laundering and bribing police and other public officials (, 2012). Such characteristics were clearly expounded in the life of Michael Corleone, the son of the old Corleone. He did not just have political allies who were protecting his illegal businesses, crooked police officers who were in charge of specific protection from the law-enforcers but also bought people in the church that made him look good. The Mafia is traditionally known as organized criminal organizations of Italian or Sicilian heritage and not a religion but many Mafioso are Catholics because of their Italian roots (Grabianowski, 2008). As the political allies of Michael Corleone were shaken by the wars between the five families of their organized crime, the support and protection of the ‘last don’ became susceptible to attacks. In response, he linked himself to respectable people, priests who were thought to be dignified and highly revered by people. Through financial clout, Corleone managed to protect his image. On another note, it was not only the source of protection that expanded but the illegal activities as well. Historically, when alcohol was legalized, the Mafia expanded its activities in illegal gambling, prostitution and drugs. These were also featured in the film although drugs were avoided by the Corleones. Still, it evidently existed and the effects of such history are still felt during these modern times. References Ruddy, Albert S. (Producer), & Copolla, Francis Ford. Puzo (Director). (1972). The Godfather (Motion picture). USA: Paramount Pictures. Grabianowski, Ed. (2012). How the Mafia Works. Howstuffworks: Culture. Retrieved from: Mazzesi, Paolo. (2008). Sicilian History. Gen Tracer: Professional Researchers Tracing Your Genealogy. Retrieved from: n.a. (2012). Mafia in the United States. A & E Television Networks. Retrieved from n.a. (2012). Organized Crime- History. Net Industries: Education, Knowledge, Information. Retrieved from: Read More
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