In the article “Resurrecting the Godfather,” author James Thomas Chiampi analyzes Mario Puzo’s, The Godfather, and the themes that are consistent throughout the book. In addition to this, he compares and contrasts the book with the film made by Francis Ford Coppola, to show the difference in the overall message of these two mediums. Quoting The Godfather Papers, Chiampi informs the reader that Puzo’s overall intentions of writing this book was financially motivated, and according to Puzo, writing this book caused him to “sell out.”
Chiampi analyzes Puzo’s writing, showing that the book is a social commentary. He states that Puzo’s writing shows that crime in America is in response to “alienation and powerlessness.” In order for one to attain power, Puzo shows that one must revert back to the Italian customs. Chiampi emphasizes that these Italian customs are conveyed through themes that run throughout the book: a code of behavior, courtesy and strong family ties. These are expressed through the characteristics of the characters. Chiampi points out that Sonny’s spontaneity can be categorized as “American,” while Michael’s demeanor is more Sicilian.
Chiampi believes that a theme Puzo tried to develop was the fact that Sicilian culture is better than that of America, and tries to convey that American society is irrational compared to Sicilian.
One can see that Puzo’s beliefs and character development are conveyed through the characters of the movie, insuring that his overall message is captured by the movie.