Literature Study GuidesThe GodfatherBook 7 Chapter 26 Summary

The Godfather | Study Guide

Mario Puzo

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The Godfather | Book 7, Chapter 26 | Summary

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Summary

Book 7, Chapter 26 of The Godfather opens with Johnny Fontaine visiting Nino Valenti, who is gambling in his Las Vegas suite. Nino gets so drunk he collapses. Johnny has two people carry Nino to his bed. Jules Segal comes to the suite, exams Nino, and tells Johnny that his friend will die soon if he isn't committed to a sanitarium. Johnny isn't sure whether to take Jules's advice. Lucy Mancini visits. She notices Jules being tough with Johnny in his attempt to convince him to commit Nino. She tells Jules not to be so harsh, but he ignores her. Johnny says Michael Corleone and Hagen are flying to Las Vegas to meet with him. He asks Lucy if she knows what the meeting is about. Lucy doesn't know and mentions that Michael had his face fixed. Nino wakes up and tells Johnny that he isn't jealous anymore about something that happened a year ago.

Johnny remembers a year ago he had produced a film starring himself and Nino that was making a lot of money. He also had two more movies in the pipeline. Johnny was a big player in Hollywood again, but still wasn't satisfied. Jules removed the warts from Johnny's throat, but he was afraid to test his voice. After having an argument with his ex-wife Virginia, Johnny had a small party with Nino and two young women. Johnny played a tune on a piano and tried to sing. His voice didn't sound too bad. Johnny invited musicians to his pad, and they had a recording session. Johnny's voice seemed richer and more complex than before. Back in Nino's suite, Johnny thinks about Nino being jealous about Johnny getting his voice back. However, now Nino doesn't seem to care enough about anything to stay alive.

Analysis

With Book 7, Chapter 26, Puzo presents another digression from the main story about the Don and Michael. Because of this, the author does not present any themes that connect with the main arc of the story. The author conveys the idea of power through the conflict between Johnny and Jules. As a doctor, Jules wants his medical opinion to have a strong amount of influence on Johnny. However, Johnny resents Jules's detached, harsh attitude and dithers about taking his advice. Later, the author describes how Johnny has regained power in Hollywood by producing a successful movie. However, this victory is hollow because Johnny is afraid to sing again. When Johnny discovers his singing voice is better than ever, he realizes he has it all.

Puzo deals with the attitudes of the strict patriarchal family through Jules and Johnny. Jules expresses frustration about dealing with Catholic women who get pregnant after he warns them not to because of health reasons. Most of these women probably are part of a patriarchal family, which is supported by traditional Catholicism. Even though these women could die from having a child, they are overjoyed about being pregnant. Influenced by Catholicism and the patriarchal system, these women see their lives as revolving around giving sexual satisfaction to their husbands and bearing children. Johnny shows the influence of the patriarchal family through his attitude toward women. For Johnny, all women hate to see men doing well. Such success loosens a woman's grip on a man, which she maintains through sex and marriage ties. Influenced by the patriarchal system that he was raised in, Johnny sees women relegated to domestic roles and trying to exert power through the manipulation of men.

In addition, Puzo shows the theme of loyalty through Johnny's close ties to his friend Nino, who is trying to commit a type of suicide by drinking himself to death. Johnny wonders if he should send Nino to a sanitarium. Such a move might be good for Nino's health, but it would be devastating to his pride, which like most Sicilian men he values so much.

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