The Influence of Family on The Characters’ Lives in "The Godfather"

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About this sample


Words: 1656 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Nov 5, 2020

Words: 1656|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Nov 5, 2020

I believe that family plays a big role in shaping the mind and characters involved in famous films because we as children are shaped by what we see our parents do, they shape and mold our behavior. In this essay I evaluate my opinion by exploring the main importance of family influence in the characters’ lives in the film: The Godfather.

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The first film of the trilogy tells of a traditional American family, more precisely from New York who, like many immigrant families, struggle to maintain the traditions of their country of origin (in this case, Italy). And like every family in America close to 50 years, had its leader, the head of the family, his head Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), which is not only the leader of your family as is also the crime boss all over the country. Its main activity is to ensure the safety of their 'friends' doing favors ethical nothing, not legal. During the wedding of her daughter Constanzia 'Connie' Corleone (Talia Shire), his house full of guests and important family, Don Corleone divides his time between work and pay attention to party, is when his godson Johnny Fontane and singer (Al Martino) asks for help to star in a movie (starring) whose studio director, Jack Woltz (John Marley), does not agree at all with this participation. That 's when The Godfather kicks in, pulls his strings and when he sees that there is no agreement to do, he puts his head 's favorite Woltz horse to sleep next to his owner. And that's where all the problems arise, and the major North American crime families in conflict, and especially the Corleone family is shaken.

The plot begins already putting the Gangster in a worship position. The guy does everything wrong in the world, kills people to acquire affection and friendship of all, is the king of hypocrisy and American moralism, but is a figure so charismatic, that makes the viewer hope the evils of our dear Don Vito Corleone to go right! And how does this happen? Only talking Marlon Brando of character to understand a little: A caricature of a type so mysterious, full of secrets, failures, sins, mannerisms, wrong in almost everything he does, and his love for his family (for all of his family), but mainly by his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), is the main reason that makes all its faults justified (as if we could justify the death of someone to get what you want) by the viewer itself. And of course, we need to talk about the details of the character Don Corleone, with his crooked mouth, nasal voice, posture, walk way, hand on chin, looking worried, nose always raised, your pet cat, firm sentences, authority, all turns out to be part of a complete package of the King of crimes.

Michael Corleone, Al Pacino role of master, and is the favorite of the protagonist, is the key to any resolution of all problems of long. He starts following firm and strong in a style and way of thinking (boy full of good principles that had just won a government medal for his honor and participation in the 2nd war) which then, to protect your beloved father, changes completely Entering head in a world that he swore not be yours. This sudden change is also part of a big move (master Francis Ford Coppola, director), changing the protagonist of the first film: Marlon Brando stars as protagonist, being so famous Don Vito Corleone, while Al Pacino was just (not so just so) the son of Vito and protected in the course of the plot there is a change in the roles. When Michael Corleone finally becomes the Don Corleone and the Godfather, Marlon Brando, has its modified role, becoming the protégé of his beloved son, and the best - without reducing some of the significance of their role.

Perfectly integrated into the system, year after his arrival in the United States, Vito Corleone seeks to have an educated family, and their economic and moral empire consisting in part by the power he exercises over his associates and subordinates (the first, journalists, politicians, police ; the second, henchmen, family friends and friends of favors), partly on own family system. It is then where, now supported in the field of technical and experience recognized by the powerful and their associates, now recognized as the living tradition of the family that is supported by money gathered by Corleone and a more traditional fidelity exactly charismatic, as in Figure Vito Corleone mix within the typology of domination, rational domination (subordinates and associates) and the traditional domination (children, grandchildren, spouses). It is not considered, therefore, that the Don enjoys charismatic rule because no one put in the position he occupies: no one boasts by his deeds, not everyone likes what he does and also not all are allowed to question the reason for their deeds. The obligation to remain in the family is traditionally an obedience, a rational action in relation to values and occasionally purposes.

Don Corleone’s obsessive quest to keep all the children close by is his trademark demeanor. Without the notice, he tries to be the ever-present father to all. You can imagine an unconscious attempt to not leave anyone helpless as felt throughout childhood. Interestingly, also embodies the mother's imagination was lacking in his affable and almost maternal tone.

The character of Robert Duvall always had my special attention, because even not having Italian blood, was adopted by the family. He is the (counselor) and acts as a kind of mentor and man of bureaucratic affairs. Lawyer by training, knows the procedures of US jurisdiction and moves with discretion and complete self in politics and criminals. He uses the office language to dispatch the dirty work and make it seem like just followed up some paperwork.

His firm expression that mixes the faint smile with a clever cynicism makes him a key and discreet piece in dressy gear, after all, the other kids are always having fun and enjoying the advantages of mafia wealth. Tom does not get these perks. Is always acting seriously, at the epicenter of the decisions, inducing the helm there or here, almost imperceptible, covering up evidence to the murders and negotiations are successful.

Don Corleone knows the firstborn who has. Sonny is the owner of an impulsive, sexualized and reactive behavior, is never put on the front line of decisions. In one scene in the midst of a father gives an indirect negotiation to him, saying: 'A man who is dedicated to the family will never be a real man.'

Freda is the middle son of Vito and often act as if oblivious to the business. That classic scene in which Don Corleone is shot, Fredo is unable to do his father's custody and can barely hold the gun in time to fight back. His father knows the indolent and cowardly character of the child. And for that reason, rarely leaves something under his orders. Despite being one of the possible natural heirs of an empire, has no prestige or consistency to put things in place.

The famiglia term is a very affectionate way when it comes to crime, in other words, it is a qualified gang. It feeds the war perspective that divides the world into allies and enemies. Is for or against, there is no middle ground. This is the kind of very usual sight at home, that large-scale fosters prejudice, war, twisted fights and even condo. The risk of a mental operation distorted by this filter is to be always finding offenders and envious potential and acting against them under the pretext of defending.

How to prove that you belong to a family, religion or any association? The exchange of favors are the key to strengthen ties, always reinforcing the feeling of embarrassment and moral debt. The cost of this loyalty is the total lack of freedom before any disagreement. The Corleones work in the field of games and casinos and fight other Famiglias who are embracing drug trafficking. Don Vito has principles, for him the game is a 'harmless' addiction, and drugs are simply dangerous and risky business.

Something, however, one can see the future that each Don is intended, after the replacement already chosen and the family delivered in safe hands: ostracism, old age, and the relegated from far adviser post on a farm in the remote state of Sicily. Respected by other Godfathers still active, heads of families with questions about how to proceed in a rather risky move to win the planned success (bosses traveling miles away in private aircraft only to consult with one of these), these prostrate Dons, already almost dead (mostly in a wheelchair), are referred to the memories of his activity as Godfather and are concerned to pass this technical skill and moral skill to those who come before him. The question is similar to a parent-child relationship, from old to new, from the experienced to the inexperienced, last domination between father, godfather and sponsored generation to generation. Perhaps this same great reason to be called Godfathers.

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A man is known by the values he brings from crib. In fact, a man is recognized for his actions respectful and the saga shows how difficult it is to respect, even if it is based on blood in order to understand how far we could go. When it comes to The Godfather, remember how I related with the fact of becoming a man. Today I see that the film is as much about family issues as a mafia movie. The family, for those characters, was more important than anything, about to lose his composure and make retaliation using the law of retaliation. Despite the violence, The Godfather is primarily a film about the power of loyalty and love in the Corleone family and the community in which they live.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Influence of Family on The Characters’ Lives in “The Godfather”. (2020, October 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from
“The Influence of Family on The Characters’ Lives in “The Godfather”.” GradesFixer, 31 Oct. 2020,
The Influence of Family on The Characters’ Lives in “The Godfather”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
The Influence of Family on The Characters’ Lives in “The Godfather” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Oct 31 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from:
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