15 October 2013
Deviance and the Sociological Analysis of The Godfather Part I
In Mario Puzo's The Godfather Part I, the Corleone family demonstrates
deviance when one compares it to the society that contains no organized crime
influence. Deviance is also shown through different members of the family as well as
other characters introduced throughout the course of the movie. By watching the
portrayal of the overall Corleone family one can see how structure is formed from
home life to crime life, and one can also see that social conflict can arise through the
danger promoted by the family "business." The Corleone family has two branches:
the crime family and the home family. Some characters may be involved in one
Corleone family but not the other, and some people may belong to both. At some
points, the reasons why the separations occur cause conflicts between the members
of the family. A key influence of the Corleone family is the act of being a family. Other
major influences are the drive for revenge, the need for respect, and the demand for
justice. All of these influencing factors pull the Corleone family down the road of
deviance, and digs them the pit of everlasting vengeance.
To begin with, organized crime involves the sale of illegal goods and services.
These can include prostitution, drugs, and gambling. In The Godfather Part I, the
Corleone family was connected with both gambling and drugs whether or not they
wanted to be. The Corleone family was known to be involved in, and it was quoted by
the eldest son, Sonny Corleone, that the family is in gambling and the unions. This
was said when Sonny was pitching the idea of involving the family in the drug
business to his father, Don Vito Corleone, who is the head of the Corleone family. In
response, Vito declines the offer to venture into new territory since the dealing of
drugs is what he calls a "dirty business." By refusing the joining of the drug business
with a man named Virgil Sollozzo, The Turk, a chain of events befall the Corleone
Family indirectly involving them with the dealings of the drug business. The
Corleone family are sought out for their political connection and protection they can
provide for the new in town drug business, but Vito says that his friends in politics
would not remain in his good favor if they found out he went into anything as
dangerous and dirty as drugs.
Next, there is a specific phrase repeated three times throughout the course of
the movie. It is one that represents the immense power behind the Don of the family.
"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" is repeated three times in the movie.
The first time it is said aloud, Michael Corleone, Don Vito Corleone's youngest son, is
the one who speaks the phrase. Michael is speaking to his girlfriend at the time and
second wife, Kay Adams, who inquires after how the Don got his godson, Johnny
Fontane, out of a singing contract and start his solo...