The Change Of Michael Corleone Essay

973 words - 4 pages

The Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, tells the tragic story and transformation of Michael Corleone within the mobster underworld of New York City. There are five main crime families that control New York City with the Corleone family being the most powerful of them. When a drug baron known as Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo asks Don Vito to invest in the trade and Vito refuses, it sets the film in motion. An attempt is later made on Don Vito’s life and this in turn shows the true personalities of the Corleone family. Sonny, the eldest son, takes over, but everyone knows that he is too much of a hothead to effectively lead and deal with the situation. He always gets emotional, a trait which his father never possessed. On the other hand, Fredo, the 2nd eldest son, is characterized as being the weakest and least intelligent if the three brothers. Michael, the youngest son, who initially wanted no part in the family business, find himself becoming more and more involved with the affairs of the family. In essence, Michael Corleone’s loyalty to the family transforms him from an innocent bystander to a ruthless and methodical crime kingpin.
From the beginning of the film, it is evident that Michael wants no part of the family business. This is obvious when he attends his sister’s traditional Italian wedding. The way that Michael dresses suggests a lot. He wears his Marine Corps uniform, which makes him stand out from his entire family’s black and white tuxedos. It can be seen as one way of saying that he does not want to get involved with the family. He also brings Kay Adams, a WASP, which is unusual because everyone else is pure Italian. To further make him point, Michael even discloses family business with Kay. He tells her how his father got Johnny Fontane out of a binding contract by offering the big band leader an “offer he couldn’t refuse”. He discloses this information to an outsider and states, “I’m not like them”. Given theses points, Michael shows his reluctance to involve himself in the mafia and says he will never be like them. He wants to become his own man and live as an American.
The Arrival of Virgil Sollozzo is very significant in the transformation of Michael Corleone. This is when Michael begins to change and gets his hands dirty. When Don Vito’s life is almost taken by assassins, Michael finds himself thrust into the world that he tried so hard to stay out of. With this event he officially becomes a part of the family and even thwarts a second attempt on his father’s life at the hospital. He handles the situation very well and most importantly, does not let his emotions take over. The outcome would definitely have been different had either Sonny or Fredo been at the hospital instead. Later, when Michael...

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