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May 27th, 2012
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Michael's "destiny"? #933857
03/18/18 02:20 PM
03/18/18 02:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
AZ
Turnbull Offline OP
Turnbull  Offline OP

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Posts: 17,919
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"A man has but one destiny."

That's what Vito said, regretfully, when Sonny told him he didn't want to go to law school--he wanted to be in the "olive oil business." Do you think Michael was destined to be Vito's successor, a lifelong criminal and Mafia kingpin? Or, was he a gangster by choice?

[N.B.: Webster's defines "destiny" as: "the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future - she was unable to control her own destiny"


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: Turnbull] #934018
03/19/18 08:50 AM
03/19/18 08:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
mustachepete Offline
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mustachepete  Offline
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No. Virginia
I'd say that in Puzo's world, there was destiny at work. There's a couple of instances early in the book where Puzo says that Michael takes on an eerie resemblance to Vito. As the Family responds to the attack on Vito, Michael participates, and it slowly becomes clear
that his separation from the Family occurred because it's an archaic organization, not because he thinks it does wrong. As he proceeds through his time in Sicily and eventually returns to America of one mind with his father, it's as if the real Michael has emerged, instead of Michael being changed by circumstances.


"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: mustachepete] #934044
03/19/18 02:49 PM
03/19/18 02:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
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olivant Offline
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Originally Posted by mustachepete
... it's as if the real Michael has emerged, instead of Michael being changed by circumstances.


Pete, I agree. I've posted elsewhere that each of Vito's boys had certain of Vito's genes (characteristics), but not all of them. Sonny had Vito's violence gene; Fredo had Vito's sensitivity gene; Michael had Vito's destiny (I really don't like that term) gene. In other words, Michael possessed most of Vito's genes, but he just could not manage them to have the effect and effectiveness that Vito had.


"Generosity. That was my first mistake."
"Experience must be our only guide; reason may mislead us."
"Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read."
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: olivant] #935083
03/27/18 03:27 AM
03/27/18 03:27 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
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Turnbull Offline OP
Turnbull  Offline OP

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Well, I knew I'd get great responses from Pete and Oli. Thanks! smile

Michael had choices at every turn. But, as you guys imply, those choices were affected by destiny. He was his father's son. And, though he told Kay at Connie's wedding, "It's my family, it's not me," he couldn't walk away from his family when the chips were down.


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: Turnbull] #935624
03/31/18 11:28 AM
03/31/18 11:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
O
olivant Offline
olivant  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
Since there's nowhere else to post this, I'll post it here: does anyone recall if the novel states that Vito ever became a citizen? In the film, Vito enters the US through Ellis Island, but that doesn't mean he became a citizen.


"Generosity. That was my first mistake."
"Experience must be our only guide; reason may mislead us."
"Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read."
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: Turnbull] #935646
03/31/18 02:52 PM
03/31/18 02:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
mustachepete Offline
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No. Virginia
I don't have access to the book right now but I don't recall his citizenship being addressed directly. In the chapter summing up his life, there is some material about how he became politically influential.

My guess is that, sometime when he was building up the olive oil business, he probably contacted whoever fixed such things then and bought the necessary documents. A respectable young businessman would go through the process, so Vito would achieve the same result without the fuss of tests and such.


"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: mustachepete] #935648
03/31/18 03:41 PM
03/31/18 03:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
AZ
Turnbull Offline OP
Turnbull  Offline OP

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,919
AZ
Pete's guess is a good one, My guess is that Vito never formally became a citizen because he didn't have to. Under immigrant regulations that were in effect until 1924: If you could get to America on your own, enter legally and be processed at Ellis Island or another official immigration center, and not pose a health or security risk, you were in. You could stay forever without becoming a citizen. Sure, Vito could have leaned on one of his politicos to arrange citizenship, but it would have raised his profile and made him vulnerable to losing citizenship if he were convicted of a crime.


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: Turnbull] #935669
03/31/18 06:11 PM
03/31/18 06:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
O
olivant Offline
olivant  Offline
O

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
Well, in the novel, Vito expresses an antipathy for America. So, his becoming a citizen by hook or by crook would be purely for criminal reasons..


"Generosity. That was my first mistake."
"Experience must be our only guide; reason may mislead us."
"Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read."
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: Turnbull] #935762
04/01/18 03:18 PM
04/01/18 03:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
mustachepete Offline
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mustachepete  Offline
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Underboss
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,070
No. Virginia
I was thinking that if Vito's plan for Michael included politics, he would almost certainly have acquired citizenship for himself. That aspiration, though, "Senator Corleone...Governor Corleone..," that's only in the movie, right? I always wondered if Vito's plan for Michael involved the bank where they did the peace conference.


"All of these men were good listeners; patient men."
Re: Michael's "destiny"? [Re: mustachepete] #935769
04/01/18 05:15 PM
04/01/18 05:15 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
O
olivant Offline
olivant  Offline
O

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,353
Texas
Originally Posted by mustachepete
I was thinking that if Vito's plan for Michael included politics, he would almost certainly have acquired citizenship for himself. That aspiration, though, "Senator Corleone...Governor Corleone..," that's only in the movie, right? I always wondered if Vito's plan for Michael involved the bank where they did the peace conference.


Pete, your right about Vito's aspirations for Michael and the novel.

Vito's citizenship is just as ambiguous as his induction into the Mafia.


"Generosity. That was my first mistake."
"Experience must be our only guide; reason may mislead us."
"Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read."

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