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19th April 2002 - Page 5
Described as a staggering triumph, the godfather is the definitive novel about a sinister fraternity of crime. It is a landmark of the 20th century.
There is a Sicilian saying that the world is very hard, that a man must have two fathers to look after him. That's why the Italians have godfathers. One particular man took the role of being godfather to all his friends. He helped each of them in times of trouble, telling them that one day (and that day will never come) he will ask them for a favor in return (and they won't be able to refuse).
This man was Don Vito Conleone. He was the head of one of the five Mafia families of New York. He had earned the title of Don as well as a reputation of a repeatable man. This reputation grew as he helped his friends. He also had a business of importing Olive oil from Italy.
Vito Conleone had all his values right. He was known as a man of reasonableness. He believed that one should never lose his temper because that disables him from thinking rationally. He never uttered an unnecessary threat and always thought things out.
All this helped him in forming a monopoly in the market. He became the single largest importer of olive oil in the country. Soon, he took over the organization of a Mafia chief known as Maranzano by defeating him.


a tale of 

crime and 


Vito Conleono was now the head of the biggest family in New York. He had established his own society. A society in which his family and his friends would be safe.
The Don had three sons. The eldest Santino, Fredo, and the youngest Michael. Santino was reliable, had leadership qualities but a famous temper. He wasn't fit to be Don. Fredo was a son many Italian mothers prayed for, but he wasn't strong willed enough to enter the family business. But Michael was a lot like his father. He was intelligent and he hid his emotions at all costs. He was chosen to be head of the family. But as for Mike, he wanted to lead his life another way. He went to uni

and much to his father's displeasure joined the army. There was no way he would sell olive oil.
At this time the story is going perfectly. Mario gives an incredible portrayal of the New York underworld. He shows us a happy family preparing for Christmas. But then the plot starts to thicken.
In one day everything changed. The Don was shot and nearly killed. He was out of action for the war, which was to begin. With Santino as head of the family, the war was soon at a stalemate. Michael wanted to pay respect to his father and much to his displeasure, he was made to murder an important man in New York. Then he was sent to Sicily to hide.
This book shows how Michael: a simple, hardworking boy who wanted to have nothing to do with the family rackets of the Mafia was dragged into a life of crime and eventually became the head of the family and an icon in the underworld.
I learn from this book that family is everything. But more important than that is friendship. Friendship can save a mans life if it is strong enough. This novel gives us an idea about organized crime in New York in the 40's and the 50's.
This book shows what power is about. It tells us that behind every great fortune, there is a crime.

Eshaan Trivedi

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