The Godfather

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Narrative Structure Essay:
How To Make a Mobster Lovable

In his film The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola creates a narrative structure, very similar to that seen in Classic Hollywood cinema. Events in the film unfold chronologically, and cause and effect ultimately help shape the narrative. The Godfather’s long narrative span, covers a very significant time in American history, and centers around the idiosyncrasy of family. The film is told entirely within the closed world of the Corleone family, which creates sympathy for the main characters, who otherwise would be considered evil. Coppola draws the audience into the Godfather’s world by divulging into each of the characters personalities, following them through every significant change and role reversal.

Coppola begins his film, by artfully bringing his large cast onstage. By the end of the wedding scene, most of the major characters are introduced, along with their overall nature. Michael is the war hero and golden boy of the family, Don Vito is the feared but loved leader, Tom is the trusted counsellor, and Sonny is the hot-headed womanizer. Many of these stereotypes introduced in the beginning of the film stay true. However, some of the characters break out of their molds, and essentially show the downfall that power can give rise to.

One character, who’s role considerably changes throughout the film, is that of Don Vito, The Godfather. The narrative first introduces him as a respected and powerful man, who is not to be crossed with. However, as the film moves along his authority becomes greatly compromised, and is incapacitated for a great extent of time. Which causes him to lose his hold over people. Although he does regain some of his influence after some time, he never fully reaches the great position he used to hold, and ultimately dies second in command.

Although Don Vito does not hold a great majority of screen time, he is by far the most important character, due to the fact that his...
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