.. become the most powerful family. Therefore, the killings in The Godfather are a direct result of the attainment of power. One of those examples does not even involve the killing of a man but rather an animal. Johnny Fontane, the godson of Don Corleone, comes to the Don on the day of his daughters wedding distraught as his career of singing and acting is spiraling downward. There is a movie role that is perfect for him that would once again skyrocket his career.
The only problem is that the owner of the studio shooting the film is upset at him for stealing a young actress from his studios. The fact that Johnny was able to be this aspiring young beautys lover made the studio owner enraged with jealousy. Johnny Fontane has come to Don Corleone as a last resort to getting the movie role. Don Clericuzio makes a promise to get Johnny that part and has no intentions of braking that promise. He first sends his right hand man Tom Hagen to Hollywood to discuss the matter with Jack Woltz who was the owner of the studio making the film. Jack Woltz took Tom Hagen on a tour of his properties that included horse stables.
The business meeting regarding Johnny would go down at dinner later that night. At the stables Tom was introduced to a horse by the name of Khartoum. This horse meant much more to Woltz than most people think. This was evident when, he stroked the horses mane and called out softly, Kahrtoum, Kahrtoum. There was real love in his voice and the animal responded.
(P. 59) Woltz had paid an insane amount of money to buy a world class racehorse and then retire it in its prime for the purpose of breeding. Later on that evening at the negotiations Woltz made it clear that Johnny Fontane would not get the part in the movie. Tom Hagen, who was supposed to spend the night in Woltzs mansion, abruptly got up and left to fly back out east and give Don Corleone the bad news. The next morning, Tom Hagen awoke with bloodied sheets and the head of his precious Kahrtoum beside him. Johnny Fontane was given the part in the movie later that day.
The Clericuzios had succeeded in attaining the movie role for the godson. This was just a taste of things to come in the novel. Knowing that the Don of a Mafia family is the nucleus means that a Don must live each minute of his life in paranoia of who is going to knock him off. The man who would take a stab at taking down Don Corleone would be a man by the name of Sollozo. He was an opportunist wanting to start up a large narcotics ring in the United States and had the backing of five of the six Mafia families. The only one unwilling to cooperate were the Corleones.
The political power and sway that the Corleones had was enough to hinder the narcotics operation that was in the works. As a way of continuing his narcotics business, Sollozo decides to pull a gun on Don Corleone while he is uncharacteristically buying fruit from a street vendor. The shots only wound the Don but they were severe enough to put him in hospital and out of commission for a few weeks. Don Corleones oldest son Sonny has the sense of mind to place guards outside of the hospital to avoid a repeat attack. Something seems fishy as the city police captain has the guards taken away and put in jail for the night to make the Don available.
The Dons youngest son, Michael, arrives on the scene just before the second murder attempt is to take place. This foils the plan to kill the Don for another night. Realizing that to get to the Don they might have to take down his sons first, Sollozo and Police Captain McCluskey arrange a meeting with Michael the next day to negotiate a deal. They all go to a restaurant a few towns away and begin to have dinner.
Although never before being involved in violence, Michael knew that for his family name to survive and climb he would have to take care of these two men. This was evident when Michael talks with his two dinner guests by saying, I hope we can settle things tonight, I dont want my father bothered anymore. It was all carefully planned out as Michael went to the washroom and retrieved a gun that had been carefully placed earlier on in the day. Michael then proceeded to exit the washroom and shoot Solozzo and McCluskey dead. This act ended the threat by these two men against the Don.
It was important for the Don to stay alive, as his personal political contacts were crucial to the advancement of the Corleone family. The Don was still in trouble for a while though physically and it was not sure whether or not he would pull through. This caused other problems for the Corleones. While Don Corleone was recuperating from his wounds it was important to have somebody else temporarily run the family business. The man to do this was the eldest son, Sonny.
For the advancement of the other families, Sonny was now considered the roadblock to the other familys riches in the narcotics business. For the advancement of their families they conspired to kill Sonny. They decided to get to him by dealing with matters that were close to his heart. Sonnys younger sister Connie has been beaten before by her husband Carlo.
Upon hearing of this news Sonny had proceeded to track down Carlo and heavily beat him and give him an ultimatum which stated, You dirty bastard, you ever beat up my sister again Ill kill you. (P. 244) Carlo again had the nerve to beat up on his wife: this time under the protection one or all of the other five Mafia families. After hearing of another beating on his younger sister, Connie, Sonny jumped into his car and headed towards the town where Carlo ran his sports betting business. He first had to cross a toll bridge.
When Sonny arrived at the booth to pay his toll he was met by three carloads of men who unleashed gunfire into his car killing him instantly. With Sonny dead and the Don still bed ridden, the five families figured that they were now capable of advancing their narcotics operation. Little did they know that one man had the brains to single-handedly take control of all Mafia related business in the United States. After the death of Sonny it was not long before Don Corleone lost his life to a stroke. This left the responsibility of running the familys operation up to the third son, Michael.
To make sure that nobody was able to stop him in his quest to have his family the most powerful in the States, Michael orders the killing of all five leaders of the Mafia families. One man by the name of Neri was able to wipe out all five family Dons by such means as wearing police disguises, storming hotel rooms and just finding the right times on the streets to shoot them. Michael Corleone had successfully advanced his family to the head of the organized crime world. Knowing so much about the inner workings of a Mafia family, Mario Puzo is able differentiate the needs and wants of families in different situations.
The Corleone family in The Godfather had an ambition to become the most powerful family in the nation. This forces them to use violence and kill to rise the ladder to the top. In The Last Don, the Clericuzio family already had all the power that they would ever want and therefore they are led to a life of revenging attacks against them. It is a given fact that Mafia families are forced to get their message across through violence. The reasons behind a families use of force can be related to how much power they hold.