The Godfather Analytical Essay

Overall Story Throughline

The problem which involves all of the objective characters has to do with the activities of the feuding New York families.  The Objective Story involves the disruption of the power structure among these families, and the search to establish a new “Godfather” who can sort it all out.

Overall Story Concern

The central Objective Story Concern of Obtaining is to obtain a new head of the families, a new “Godfather.”  People also come to the Godfather to obtain favors, and it is his concern to obtain ways to grant these favors.  Sollozzo, Sonny, the Don, Barzini, and all the other Mafioso are trying to obtain more power during this time of disruption.  Kaye is trying to obtain Michael as a husband; Fredo and Connie’s husband, Carlos, want to obtain more respect from their family, etc.

Overall Story Issue

The issues raised in the Objective Story revolve around how to go about doing or obtaining—often in regards to culturally “wrong” things, such as murder.  One’s approach vs. one’s attitude is at the heart of these issues.  It is all right for the undertaker to ask the Godfather to murder someone, but the way in which he makes this request is taken to issue.  The story explores a well defined chain of steps for any move these characters make.  Whether their attitude makes their moves “business” moves or “personal” moves determines if their approach is correct or not.  These issues occur in the dilemma of whether or not Michael can kill a police captain.  Until Michael demonstrates that there is a business reason which makes this killing part of a method that other families would agree with, it is out of the question.  The mob bosses’ discussion of how it may be acceptable to deal drugs is also a discussion of approach.  Similar is the problem when Tessio betrays Michael for Barzini.  Michael understands because “it is the smart move on Tessio’s part.”  But even when Tessio admits the betrayal was purely for business, Michael still has to have him killed because that is the methodology among the families.

Overall Story Counterpoint
Overall Story Thematic Conflict
Approach vs.Attitude
Overall Story Problem

Feelings that occur in the Objective Story are problematic.  The Don’s feelings about how drugs will affect his political connections cause him to refuse to get involved in the inevitable (and therefore logical) venture proposed by Sollozzo (the “Turk”).  Sonny’s feelings cause him to run into trouble without thinking, which eventually gets him killed and strips the Corleone family of their acting Don.  The movie producer’s feelings lead him to dedicate himself to preventing Johnny Fontaine from getting the movie part he needs; etc.

Overall Story Solution

Whenever logic is introduced in the Objective Story, it solves problems.  Tom Hagan’s constant advice to Sonny is always logical and would make things easier if Sonny would only follow it.  The logic that drugs are the inevitable future in organized crime ends up resolving the gang war which killed Sonny and wounded Don Corleone.  Logic demanded that Michael kill the “Turk” when there was no other solution, and logical choices of victims in Michael’s climactic massacre secure power and stability for him and place his family over all of the families in New York.

Overall Story Symptom

The Objective characters believe the story’s problem lies in other people’s reconsidering (or non-considering).  For example, Sonny thinks that the problem is that the other families are reconsidering their loyalty to the Corleones and that he should teach them a lesson; Tom thinks Sonny’s reconsidering all of Tom’s advice is making things worse; the other families think Don Corleone is reconsidering his commitment to them by refusing to cooperate in setting up organized drug dealing; Michael waits for one of his friends to reconsider his loyalty and turn to the Barzini family.

Overall Story Response

The characters believe that considerations will solve their problems.  Sonny and Tom think the family should consider getting into the drug business.  The Don finally considers it as well.  Tom continually reins Sonny in, guiding him in the direction of considering rather than acting impulsively.  They consider the forbidden act of killing a police captain, which will force the other families to consider the Corleones to be dangerous once again; Michael considers becoming much more involved in the family business.

Overall Story Catalyst

Characters’ attitudes affect the progress of the Objective Story.  When the undertaker adopts the proper attitude towards the Godfather, he is granted his request; Sonny’s attitude toward the “Turk”‘s proposal leads to the “Turk”‘s attempt to kill the Don in order to deal with Sonny; Michael’s attitude toward killing the “Turk” convinces his brothers to take advantage of their only opportunity to solve the “Turk” problem; when the Godfather adjusts his attitude toward negotiations about drugs the families are able to once again do business; when Michael insults Appollonia’s father, the proper attitude from Michael persuades the father to arrange for them to meet; Michael’s controlled attitude toward the betrayals and deceptions carried out by the other families allows him to efficiently wipe them all out unsuspectingly.

Overall Story Inhibitor

When characters rationalize, the Objective Story is slowed down.  For example, when Tom and Sonny rationalize that no one can kill a police captain, it looks as though there is no solution to the “Turk” problem; Sonny’s rationalization that hitting the other families is a proper move begins a costly and unproductive gang war; etc.

Overall Story Benchmark

The Corleone family’s activities in relation to the Barzini’s plans and how the Corleones respond to the apparent loss of their power is the measuring stick of progress in the Objective Story.  The more Michael does to lead the Corleone’s through this tough time the more the Objective Characters note the Corleone’s progress toward the goal of obtaining a new “Godfather.”

Additional Overall Story Information →
Overall Story Throughline Synopsis

The Corleone family is the most powerful Mafia family in New York when a man named Sollozzo (the “Turk”) decides to try to bring narcotics dealing under the control of organized crime.  The Don of the Corleone family decides not to get involved, which means Sollozzo cannot proceed because he needs the Don’s political connections.  This refusal begins a power struggle that gets the Don shot and leads the Don’s “civilian” son, Michael (previously not involved in crime) to kill Sollozzo and flee the country.  While Michael is away, the only other child who could successfully maintain the Corleone family business is murdered.  The disheartened and recovering Don arranges a truce, temporarily ending the Mafia war and allowing Michael to return to New York.  Michael returns to take over the family and makes plans to move their business to Las Vegas.  The other families are slow to accept Michael as the new Don and begin to view the Barzini family as the new big power.  When the old Don Corleone dies, Michael has been warned to expect a friend to betray him in an attempt to secure the shift of power to the Barzinis.  When that betrayer reveals himself, Michael arranges a massive collection of murders to occur while he attends his godson’s christening.  The victims include the heads of the families opposing him and the motel owner holding up the Corleone’s move to Vegas.  This act of violence secures the Corleones continued reign as the top family in New York and confirms Michael as the new “Godfather,” Don Corleone.

The Godfather the Movie Essay

532 Words3 Pages

The Godfather the Movie

THE GODFATHER, made in 1974, details the Corleone crime family in Manhattan during the mid 1930s. The Don, Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, leads his organization against a relentless narcotics push by a rival family, the Sollozzos. Vito Caleone does not want anything to do with drugs because he believes they will be the downfall of the Mafia. The story, covering a ten year time period, offers a rich tapestry of Mafia life from the inside, drawing the audience into witnessing the transfer of power within a close-knit family
According to the October 1999 issue of “Entertainment Weekly”, THE GODFATHER is one of the greatest movies of the decade. Rarely can it be said that a film has defined a decade,…show more content…

Special effects play a huge roll in modern day films; they are mainly used to grab the attention of the audience. In the making of THE GODFATHER, very few special effects were used. The director, Francis Ford Coppola was able to capture the audience’s attention with a terrific cast, and a captivating story line. The movie explores many aspects of real life such as family responsibility, a father's legacy, the need to earn respect and the corrupting influence of power. These are some of the ingredients combined in Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece. The movie ran close to three hours and every scene was better then the last; not boring the viewer throughout the entire performance.
Throughout the film, Michael Corleone played brilliantly by Al Pacino, experiences a major change in his way of thinking. Michael changes from believing that what his family does is wrong, to believing that his family's crimes are a necessary evil. He begins by insisting to his girlfriend that his family's crimes belong to his family, not to him. He was not involved in the business and did not want anything to do with it.
By the end of the movie, most of the Corleone family have been murdered. Michael organizes the execution of several people within the other crime families as the Corleon family's new Don, having reasoned that these murders are necessary. Feeling that he must follow in his father’s footsteps he transforms from an innocent bystander to the central manipulator.

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