The Godfather Essay

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In the following essay, Ferraro discusses the "business of family" in The Godfather, and the godfather figure as a cultural icon.

In his 1969 blockbuster The Godfather, Mario Puzo presented an image of the Mafia that has become commonplace in American popular culture. Since that time, we have taken for granted that the Mafia operates as a consortium of illegitimate businesses, structured along family lines, with a familial patriarch or "godfather" as the chief executive officer of each syndicate. Puzo's version of the Mafia fuses into one icon the realms of family and economy, of Southern Italian ethnicity and big-time American capitalism, of blood and the marketplace. "Blood" refers to the violence of organized crime. "Blood" also refers to the familial clan and its extension through the symbolic system of the compare, or "co-godparenthood." In The Godfather, the representation of the Mafia fuses ethnic tribalism with the all-American...

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This section contains 4,388 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Godfather Study Guide
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The Godfather from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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