A wedding is a great vehicle to motivate a plot in both literature and life. In Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Michael Corleone’s wedding is one of the most influential scenes of the entire book. This wedding carries this influence because of three things, first, the reader meets Michael Corleone for the first time, second, the reader experiences a dramatic Italian Mafia wedding in all its prestige and tradition, and lastly, the reader becomes aware of just how respected the head of a Mafia family can become. Michael Corleone’s wedding is the first real glimpse of a Mafia family’s culture, tradition, and way of life, in the entire book.
Michael Corleone, who becomes the most influential character of the Corleone family in Puzo’s later sequels to The Godfather, makes his first appearance of the novel at his wedding. He is dressed in his Army uniform, as he is returning from war. The irony of the situation is that just as it is the reader’s first glimpse of Michael, it seems as if it is the first time for many of his family members to see him, seeing as though he has been overseas fighting for some time. The reader finds he is well-liked by his family and is seen as a hero for fighting for his country.
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The Italian Mafia wedding experience just adds more understanding for the reader of just how culturally and traditionally oriented this family is. The scene is perfectly placed in the novel at a point where the reader is meeting all the Corleone family, and the scene has a way of inviting the reader into their family and into their lives. From this scene on the reader becomes a surrogate member of the Corleone family, thus every trial the Corleone’s experience has a way of affecting the reader just as much as it would any Corleone. Lastly, the wedding allowed the reader to fully grasp how well respected Don (Vito) Corleone is to his community. Don Corleone is seen as a father figure, a protector of sorts.
As any good “father” can, Don Corleone can solve any problem somebody might have, any problem, but his services are not free and he is usually paid very well by the members of the community he helps. Don Corleone is so respected by his community that he has dozens of people willing to give their lives to save his. As you may be able to tell Michael Corleone’s wedding is one of the most influential points of the entire novel. It allows the reader to meet Michael Corleone, it invites the reader to experience an Italian Mafia family wedding, and it displays for the reader the amount of respect the head of an Italian Mafia family commands over his community. In short, Michael Corleone’s wedding is the reader’s first glimpse of a Mafia family’s culture, tradition and way of life.