Essay_2.docx - 1 Henry Hills ride to power and the...

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1 Henry Hill’s ride to power and the American’s view Martin Scorcese’s Goodfellas (1990) is a well-known movie in the gangster film genre based on a true story about the world of mafia in New York city. Especially, the story is told through the narration of Henry Hill about his life and the perks of being involved with organized criminals. He is a normal Irish-Italian boy who turns into a gangster that commits all kinds of illegal actions to make money and leads a wealthy lifestyle. Eventually, Henry ends up testifying against his partners in crime in order to save his family and his own life. The movie represents American’s perception of criminals’ lifestyle and proneness to violence, their view on nationalism, especially Italian-American, in the mid and near the end of the1900s, the time when Italian born tend to be stereotyped by the general public. The film describes Henry Hill’s ride to the top of the mafia organization, how it affects the people around him as well as himself, and the portrayal of a criminal’s lifestyle during that time. The movie begins with the scene of Henry, Tommy and Jimmy killing and burying a man with no expression of regret or fear. The first sign of violence at the very first scene of the film indicates more ruthless violence will appear throughout the movie, and that is how the films portrays the mafia’s way of handling things: murdering people and hiding their bodies. Then, Henry suddenly flashbacks to his childhood and his later life. The ordinary world of the young Henry Hill is his home, where he lives under the strictness of his father, an ex-military man. He then gets a job at the cab stand and eventually drops out of school just to work there full-time. He admires the gangsters' freedom and power in the neighborhood. However, his family finds out about him quitting school and his father beats him for that. More violence appears and this time, it is domestic violence. Yet, this kind of violence seems to be more reasonable because Henry’s father beats him for quitting school to work for the gangsters. This type of punishment also
2 seems normal and acceptable back then as well as nowadays when children do not obey their parents and they have to be educated. Be that as it may, inside young Henry Hill there is always a burning desire to enter the New World of the wise guy in which he says "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster". This is the call to adventure for him. Many people may consider it as a childish fantasy, but this is the root of Henry Hill’s belief in his dream world of success and wealth. It is a kind of fantasy that many desire but fail to achieve, and yet, this belief has been planted in the young Henry and blossomed throughout his later years. Due to Henry’s capability of pursuing his

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