Corruption and Violence Essay

Corruption and Violence Essay

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The themes that surround the violence in The Godfather coupled with the political corruption the movie portrays makes the violent actions of the Corleones and other crime families seem almost justified. The themes in the violence include violence being a matter of business, justice, asserting power, or a threat to be used for intimidation. The corruption in the government goes beyond political figures into law enforcement. Not even the captain is immune being bought out by the crime families.
The movie depicts violence as being a matter of business and a matter in which emotions should play no role. The members of the organized crime ring that is the Corleone family have made a point of not only acting in this way, but outright stating in regards to violence “it’s not personal, its business.” The grief that he corleones go through when Vito is dead at the end of the film made obvious the fact that they understand the sanctity of life. They were able to justify their complete destruction of life by drawing the line between their personal lives and the business they must attend to as a part of the Corleone family. When Michael was punched by the obviously corrupt McCloskey, he is reminded by his family the next day not to take it personally. Moe Green admits to “straightening out” Fredo though violence but states that the family should not take offense to it, that it was merely something he had to do as a businessman. When Sonny found out that his caporegime Tessio had betrayed the family to a rival, he arranged for Tessio to be killed. Sonny was able to remove emotional attachment from someone in his crime family to punish him as he saw fit.
Violence can be used as a very effective means of attaining and holding on to power. Hi...


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...from Vito showed clearly that he was taking sides in the battle between families. He wanted to clear out the guards so that Vito could be assassinated. He later shows his biased position against the Coreleons when he punches Michael in the face.
In all, the existing system of justice is broken from corruption. Having people take matters into their own hands is common and seems to be the only thing that gets results. In addition to using violence for justice, the characters in The Godfather use it to achieve their business objectives. This includes intimidation to bend people to do the family’s will and the outright murder of other powerful figures in rival families. The corruption present in the movie and the effectiveness of using violence to accomplish business objectives makes violence seem like the only plausible solution to the problems the characters face.

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