Saturday, March 20, 2004

Corleone vs. Soprano

Found this great site that collects theological and philosophical perspectives on films. One of the latest articles is on The Sopranos. Most interesting to me is the critical difference between Vito Corleone and Tony Soprano:
According to Puzo, Vito Corleone was an accidental if not a reluctant Don. He was not a man who sought the title, and only embraced it when circumstances and necessity forced it upon him. As a child, Vito came to this country as an orphan and on the run from a blood-feud in Sicily. As he grew into adulthood, his hopes and aspirations were modest--a wife, a family, and an honest job. Only when a local member of the "Black Hand" forced him out of his job and began to harass his friends did the young Corleone take action. He killed this "Black Hand," this "fellow Italian who stole from other Italians" out of a sense of duty and justice and not for personal gain or in an attempt to establish a reputation. Vito Corleone became a "man of honor"--un uomo d'onore--because he acted on principle and not on impulse. Even at the end of his life, sitting in his garden talking to his son Michael, Vito Corleone felt he had only done what was necessary to do. "I make no apologies for my life. What I did, I had to do. I did it for my family." No such motives can be associated with Tony Soprano's career choice. His selection of a vocation came from the adrenaline rush he got out of watching the strong arm and bully boy tactics of his father "Johnny Boy" and his uncle "Junior" Soprano. Honor and ethnic pride aside, Tony sought out, chose, and eagerly embraced "the life" because it looked like fun. For him, it was all about the thrill of the game--the hunt, the chase, and the kill.