Mafia Violence A Mafia Familys Use of Violence Violence can either be used as mean of attaining power or as means of revenge. It is a highly known fact that the main focus of a stereotypical Mafia family should centre around the use of violence. The Godfather as well as The Last Don are two novels which hold true to this focus and are interestingly enough both written by the same author: the late Mario Puzo. Although being written more than twenty-five years apart, the two novels almost mirror each other throughout.
For instance, near the beginning of each book the only daughter of each family gets married. Aside from that we also see one son die in each novel as well as the husband of the familys only daughter to be killed by the family. Throughout all these instances the only thing dissimilar regarding the two Mafia families is their reasons for violence. A familys use of violence is determined by how much power they hold. In The Godfather, the main purpose behind all killing and violence can be directly related to attaining power. On the other hand, The Last Don is a novel in which all cases of violence are used for the sole purpose of revenge.
The killing of one of the sons in both novels by Puzo appears to be the most prominent deaths. The unfortunate son in The Last Don, Sylvio, is a very caring and nurturing individual who wishes to have his younger sister, Rose, marry the man of her choice. Her first choice is the son of a rival Mafia boss. He is a part of the Santadio clan. For obvious business reasons Don Clericuzio does not wish his daughter to become involved with the rival son let alone have him become a part of his family.
Therefore Don Clericuzio strictly forbids Roses marriage to him. As a means of reconciling this difference Petie meets Roses lover to seek the solution to their marriage. On the way home after making arrangements to persuade his father to let his sister marry, Petie is sideswiped in his sportscar by a member of the Santadios and gunned to death. The fact that the Clericuzio clan is the most powerful family in the world means that the killing of any Santadio would not be by any stretch for personal gain of wealth. The Don of each family lays the seeds for generations to come which helps explain the future killings in this book.
It is Don Clericuzio who as an act of revenge plans the total wipeout of the Santadio family. He lets the wedding between his daughter and the Santadios son proceed sending only his nephew Pippi to go as representation of the Clericuzios. All goes well at the wedding as Pippi dances among his foes. Rose and her new husband go to the wedding bed that night and only that night. In the middle of the night a band of the Clericuzios storm the Santadio mansion and kill all of their men. They wear masks to disguise themselves from Rose but it is to no avail as she notices Pippis wedding shoes.
In the end it is Pippi who kills Roses husband but not before the seeds of life had been planted for Roses child who was to be named Dante. Don Clericuzio had avenged the death of his son Sylvio. Unfortunately this was only the beginning of the chain of revenge. The after effects of the Santadio-Clericuzio war was laid to rest by all of the Clericuzios except for Rose who was deeply in love with her husband. The hurt was evident throughout as she shunned upon the presence of anybody but her dear son Dante. Rose ended up going mad and became a senile old woman by the time she was fourty years old.
The Clericuzio family kept the war against the Santadios quiet throughout Dantes life as well as Cross lifetime. The exception to this was when Dantes mother would often whisper the truth about it to him. For this Dante,.dreamed of vengeance on Pippi, and though these were fantasies, he thought them for his mothers sake. (P.429) Cross was Pippis son and was baptized at the same time as Dante.
Dante returned the love that was shown by his mother and was obviously closer to her than any Clericuzio. At this point Dante is in his mid twenties and has become a cold-hearted hitman on behalf of the Clericuzio family. It is of no surprise then when Pippi, the killer of Dantes father, is walking up the entrance to one of his mistresses houses that he is shot to death. Again the purpose of this killing was revenge whether it be for the death of Dantes father or the mental illness inflicted onto his mother.
Still, the chain of revenge in The Last Don must continue. Cross was very close to his father as he had lived with him solely during his upbringing since the age of ten. He had learned to become a man just as his father was through hunting trips and so forth. Cross had been chosen as the one to most likely succeed Don Clericuzio as the head of the family but that was in doubt because of his inability to be the trigger man in killings. The family thought that without this quality he was lacking something. Therefore, Cross had been given 51 % of a casino in Las Vegas where he was allowed to live a legal life and still provide for the family.
Through family business Dante found himself in the confines of Cross hotel. He felt as though he had nothing to worry about as the murder of Pippi had been executed with perfection and even a clean cover up. So he thought. It was not long before Cross and one of his counterparts were able to seclude Dante and his aid in Pippis killing. Cross-was able to avenge the loss of his father by shooting both of the men responsible and then setting the villa, which the deed was done in, ablaze.
This set of killings end the chain of revengeful murders but does not exempt other murders in the novel from having the same theme. Although the worst thing that you are able to do to a family is to kill of one of their own, another horrible deed is too undermine a familys intelligence by stealing from them right under their noses. As was the case for Big Tim. Big Tim had set up a scheme in the Clericuzios casino in which he was able to thief more than a quarter of a million dollars virtually undetected.
The fact that the scheme went on for a long period of time enraged the Clericuzio family and was able to make them look vulnerable. To seek revenge for this act it was Dante, the most ruthless killer of them all, who was sent to take care of Big Tim. Big Tim had set up a scheme to rig the Super Bowl but needed funding to back up his plan. It was made to look as though Dante was a high roller by sending him to his familys own craps tables to lose a lot of money in a matter of minutes without flinching.
Big Tim saw this and asked to meet with Dante in a secluded place. This could not have worked out any better for the Clericuzios as it would be a cinch to cover up the crime. Dante and Big Tim did have their meeting and it ended up with Big Tim swimming at the bottom of a lake with the fishes. Again it was a killing solely for revenge in The Last Don.
The predecessor to The Last Don was The Godfather novel of twenty five years earlier. The Godfather holds true to the family concept of The Last Don and involves just as much violence, if not more. The main difference to the killings and the violence is the purpose. Unlike the Clericuzio family in The Last Don, the Corleone family is not the most powerful family in the nation. The Corleones have a wish along with the five other major Mafia families to …