Conflicts in the Godfather

Essay by Lollygagers15Junior High, 7th gradeA, September 2004

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The Godfather is an insightful sociological study of violence, power, honor and obligation, corruption, justice and crime in America. Part I of The Godfather Trilogy centers on the Corleone crime "family" in the boroughs of New York City in the mid 1940s, dominated at first by the aging godfather/patriarch "Don" Vito Corleone. As a turn-of-the-century Silician immigrant, he is the head of one of the five Italian-American "families" that operates a crime syndicate. The 'honorable' crime "family," working outside the system due to exclusion by social prejudice, serves as a metaphor for the way business (the pursuit of the American dream) is conducted in capitalistic, profit-making corporations and governmental circles.

Although conflict in life may seem unpleasant, literature readers find it to be quite exciting. The characters involved within a conflict clearly stand out as to what they truly believe in and who they are as a person. In Mario Puzo's, "The Godfather", a number of conflicts are revealed through the Mafia underworld.

The first, and most important conflict that is demonstrated in "The Godfather", is revealed right away through "The Assassination Attempt on Don Corleone". The Don shows the conflict of man vs. society by first refusing to enter the drug business. This decision, will ultimately effect the future conflicts that are revealed throughout the story. By refusing to participate in the drug business, the Corleone Family becomes outcasts of the five major crime families in New York. By doing so, the Don sparks the war between his family and the other five families. This war ends up lasting for several years and costs many lives.

The second conflict that is present in "The Godfather", is the conflict of divergent ideas vs. his father's ideas. Santino, "Sonny", Corleone, demostrates this conflict by deciding to go against his father's...