This article, focused specifically on Mario Puzo’s book, The Godfather, on which the film is based, and Puzo, who also did the screenplay for the film version, addresses the concerns and criticisms of the book. Firstly, the article states that the greatest criticism of the book is that it is too realistic, but it is argued in the article that this is in fact its best quality. Puzo should be praised for “making the outrageous plausible.” The trick, as described, in making Don Vito a likeable character is a strength, for example, because it creates a depth and complexity to the character.
The article continues with an extensive discussion as to whether or not Don Corleone is a barbarian where barbarian is a place between nature and civilization. He is not completely wild, and yet he is closer to his emotions and basic instincts than others. Yet he is still capable of complete reason, particularly when he is in the process of making a decision, as this stands out as a time when he clearly thinks things through.
Further, there follows a discussion as to whether the American dream, and American justice are dead within the movie. The article questions if this is one of the very bases of the movie considering certain symbols. They use the example of a character’s name to suggest it as a symbol that these are dying and something or someone will eventually have to come and fill their place.Don Corleone is then depicted as a god-like character, as it is stated, “ ‘Don Corleone had no desire, no intention, of letting his youngest son be killed in the service of a power foreign to himself.’ These words suggest not only the loyalty which a baron expects of his vassal, but the submission a god demands of his creation.” This very depiction of Don Corleone puts a very different emphasis on family than the remainder of the film. Because although Corleone loves his sone, his greater concern is with power and control.