Literature Study GuidesThe GodfatherBook 7 Chapter 25 Summary

The Godfather | Study Guide

Mario Puzo

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The Godfather | Book 7, Chapter 25 | Summary

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Summary

In Book 7, Chapter 25 of The Godfather, readers learn more about Kay Adams. After earning her college degree, Kay gets a job teaching school in her hometown in New Hampshire. Kay misses Michael Corleone desperately and, because of this, has not dated any other men. She feels hurt that Michael has not contacted her in any way in three years, even if he doesn't want to marry her. While visiting New York, Kay calls the Corleones' home and talks to Mama Corleone. To Kay's surprise, Mama Corleone seems anxious to see her and tells her that Michael has been back for six months. Kay visits Mama Corleone at her house in Long Beach and meets Michael. Michael and Kay embrace, and Michael drives her to a hotel in New York.

In the hotel room, Michael and Kay make love. Afterwards, Kay claims she never believed in her heart that Michael killed those two men. Michael, though, implies that he and his family might have had something to do with these murders. Michael wants to marry Kay and asks her if she needs to know the truth about his family before she answers. Kay says it doesn't matter because she loves him. But she doubts if Michael loves her. Michael again implies that he's a gangster, saying that if they marry there's a slight chance that Kay could end up being a wealthy widow. Michael insists his family's business will be completely legitimate in five years. He wants a wife and children. As Kay probes about the Corleone's business, Michael gets angry and explains that his father is a responsible man, not a wild gangster like in the movies. But his father could never bow to the rules of established society, which would make him a defeated man. The Don knows his time is done and the Corleone family will have to merge with society. But when this happens, Michael wants power to wield in this society. Kay is not sure about marrying Michael, but still wants a sexual relationship with him.

Analysis

In Book 7, Chapter 25, Puzo's continues to explore the two worlds of established society and the Mafia underworld. During his talk with Kay, Michael shows he totally supports his father's quest for power. In the Corleones' patriarchal family, a man must have power and not allow himself to be humiliated by other powerful men. As a result, the Don has created his own criminal world where he can wield power and achieve his own type of justice. Michael accepts this motivation. He insists on having power when and if his family's business becomes legitimate.

Michael, therefore, has developed into almost a replica of his father. When he returned from Sicily, Michael felt no affection for his family. He has become dead to any loving emotions. Instead, his emotions are dominated by hatred, which he tries to keep hidden. This anger shows itself briefly when Michael feels forced to explain his father's activities to Kay. A similar type of hatred burns within the Don. Michael wants to marry Kay because he feels a glimmer of affection for her. He wants to salvage a remnant of the life he once planned to have independent of the family business. As a result, Michael wants to marry Kay and have his children grow up as All-American kids. However, Michael avoids Kay's question about whether he loves her because he can't love anyone. Even if he achieves a legitimate life with Kay and his children, this life will be a sham because it will not be based on love. Instead, it will be a charade that goes through the motions of love.

Also in this chapter, Puzo shows the theme of the patriarchal family through Mama Corleone's attitude toward Kay. She sees Kay as a pretty woman who can breed well. Because of this, she thinks her son Michael is stupid for not marrying Kay.

However, Puzo's writing displays a strong sexist attitude through its depiction of Kay. When the chapter begins, Kay believes Michael is a murderer. Michael's mother has told her as much. Even so, Kay pines away for Michael and refuses to date anyone else. Kay seems willing to regard Michael's being a murderer as an annoying detail. If Kay married Michael, she would be immersed in a life of crime and murder through her husband. Even though Kay appears to have been raised with All-American values, such a criminal life doesn't bother her in the least. In addition, Kay is an educated woman with her own career. However, she discards this as if it's nothing and hops into bed with Michael at the first chance. All that matters is that Michael loves her. Puzo, therefore, portrays Kay as a woman whose life revolves entirely around having and satisfying a man, as he did Connie and Lucy.

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