In The Godfather, what is the significance of the scene where Don Corleone is talking to Michael in the backyard? 

Expert Answers
pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you are referring to a scene where Vito Corleone talks to his son Michael in the backyard among the tomato plants, the garden, I believe it is symbolic of the fact that the Corleones are a family.  Even though they are an organized crime family, they experience ordinary things just like any family.  There are children's toys, there is a real relationship in this family that should not be forgotten. 

The author makes sure that the reader understands that the Corleone family has traditions and rituals just like any family.  Weddings, dinners, parties, funerals as well as the elements of the family business, which in itself is a tradition that Michael hopes to avoid at first.  

The yard is a safe place to talk, no one can listen in, it cannot be bugged.  In the yard, there is a stark contrast to what the Corleone family does for a living, criminal activities, against a backdrop of innocence, the garden, the sounds of ordinary life amidst this empire of murder and mayhem that surrounds these men.

The Godfather is such a timeless work because of how effectively Mario Puzo depicted this traditional Italian family within the context of a notorious setting, organized crime.  Within this interpretation Francis Ford Coppola gave a visual definition to Puzo's words.  The beauty of this work allows the reader/viewer to understand the complexity of the lives of the Corleone family. 

Read the study guide:
The Godfather

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question