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The Valachi Papers Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Valachi Papers.
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Murder and Terror

Although the Cosa Nostra divides the country into families which are led by crime bosses, the true authorities of the Cosa Nostra are murder and terror. As the story opens up, Valachi has killed an inmate whom he mistook for his potential assassin. Valachi has been marked by Cosa Nostra boss Don Vito Genovese for execution. Valachi is so terrorized by this eventuality that he kills the wrong man. Murder and terror come part and parcel with membership in the criminal underworld.

Valachi informs the Feds that he has been involved in upwards of thirty murders over the course of his tenure with the mob. Men like Valachi become desensitized to the brutality and cruelty that is part of the territory. However, the images that are burned in the minds of these men can only enhance the terror that, as a human beings, must lie within...

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This section contains 988 words
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Buy The Valachi Papers Study Guide
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