Family in The Godfather


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Does family matter? Yes- family always matters. It is necessary to have some sort of family structure in order to have a stable foundation. This need for stability and structure is how the family survives and the children find safety. In the movies The Godfather and Scarface we will discover how the two differ when it comes to family and family business. These two patriarchs have different views on family and how the family is involved in the business. In this discovery one struggles to gain and maintain power- but looses everything in the process. While the other maintains the family through peace negotiations and understanding business and revenge can not always go hand and hand in order for the family to survive.
Looking at the movie the Godfather here we see a man who is head of the entire Corleone family. Everyone that is family (Italian or Sicilian) and extended family comes to the Don Vito Corleone also known as the Godfather. In the beginning we are greeted in the second scene at a wedding. This wedding is significant in that the entire family is attending. This is the Godfathers daughters wedding. Yet the Godfather is busy with family business but one of the traditions at this wedding especially for Sicilian and Italian is that the bride has what is called a bridal purse where every one that attends the wedding will give money of any number to put into the purse. So even with business going on those that come to visit the Godfather still bring money for the bridal purse for the bride. This is done out of respect for the head of the family. Right here from the beginning we see that family is important and that no one disrespects any member of the family or goes against the wishes of the head patriarch.
It is the Godfather that demands the family stick with family and never side with any one out side of the family no matter the situation. Vito the Godfather would remind them family is family and no one will miss treat or use any member of the family. He proves this point when his godson comes to him about a problem with a director name Jack Woltz. Because Jonny Fontane is the godson the Godfather Corleone will send his step son who is consigliere to the family to California to advise the director to hand the part over to Fontane.

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The director lets Hagen know that the reason for not giving Fontane the part was over a young lady the director spends lots of money on training her and lost a fortune because the young lady was ruined. This new reaches back to the Godfather and he is not happy. So the Godfather “…make him an offer he can’t refuse”. Woltz prize stud horse is beheaded and placed with in his bed as he sleeps. This shows that the Godfather takes care of family and does what ever is necessary. This also lets those who are outsiders no that you are not invincible from the wrath of the family when one of their own is not being treated fairly.
Never once in the family is their power struggle over who is in charge. The cohesiveness of the family is paramount to their survival. It is the key to their power and how every thing is run. In the movie we also learn about five other families and then one in particular that comes against the Corleone family. In this there is much blood shed and death brought unto the Corleone family all due to the refusal of entering the narcotics business. This is due to he believes it will ultimately destroy the families and those politicians that support the Corleone family and leave the other five families to due there business will ultimately not support the drug cartel of the family business and eventually this will cause the down fall of the family. It is understood most importantly is togetherness makes the family strong. It is that very principal that this movie tries to display for those watching can understand. That with out a family life can be rough but that family is the foundational bases and who ever is in charge being it patriarch or matriarch that who is head of the family is never disputed. This type of nuclear family structure is not often viewed with in the 21st century. This family structure is often seen before the eighties and most often with foreign families. The patriarch structure is often found with in Sicilian Italian Chinese and Japanese. In other cultures like Native Indians and with some tribes with in the Amazon Rainforest there are matriarch tribes. Even cultures of today such as the Haitian Jamaican and Cuban family know that family needs to be together and that no one takes an outsiders position over the family. These values of family that is held in high regards are the backbone and strength that keeps the family in order and with dissention. This how many of these families built with this foundation found in the Godfather are successful in one keeping the family together and to allow for decisions to make swiftly and in the best interest of the family. Such successes are like chain run stores like small grocery stores restaurants and other chain stores that are family owned. These are like the representation of the gambling casinos owned by the Corleone family and how successful they are but much like with time they saw the change coming and the five families needed the Corleone family to assist with this new adventure.
Imagine here in the United States that if this great society would listen to these family values.


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