Literature Study GuidesThe GodfatherBook 7 Chapter 27 Summary

The Godfather | Study Guide

Mario Puzo

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The Godfather | Book 7, Chapter 27 | Summary

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Summary

As Book 7, Chapter 27 of The Godfather opens, Michael Corleone, Tom Hagen, and the new bodyguard, Albert Neri, arrive at the airport in Las Vegas. In a suite of the hotel where Fredo Corleone works, Fredo greets Michael and admires how his face looks after he got it fixed. Michael tells Fredo to invite Johnny Fontaine, Nino Valenti, Lucy Mancini, and Jules Segal to dinner at the suite. Michael plans to meet with Moe Greene after dinner. During dinner, Michael tells his guests that the Corleones are planning to move to Las Vegas. The family is selling the olive oil business and plans to get involved in the Vegas hotels and casinos. Michael wants Moe Greene to sell his interest in the hotel and casino to the Corleones. Fredo isn't sure Moe wants to sell. Michael says, "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse." Michael asks Johnny to appear five times a year at the hotel and convince some of his movie-star friends to appear as well. Johnny agrees. Michael offers to make Jules a surgeon again in a planned hospital in Las Vegas. Jules accepts. Michael notices Nino is not present and wonders where he is. Johnny says Nino is seriously ill in bed.

Moe Greene enters. Sitting by the door, Albert Neri studies Moe. Then Neri, Johnny, Jules, and Lucy leave to do some gambling. Moe meets with Michael, Hagen, and Fredo. Michael tells Moe that the casino has been losing money, and he wants to buy him out. Moe gets angry, saying nobody pushes him around. Using a reasonable voice, Michael tells Moe that the Corleones helped finance his start with the hotel and casino. They are willing to give Moe a reasonable offer. Moe claims the Corleones have lost their previous strength, and the Don is sick. Michael wonders if this is why Moe slapped Fredo in public. Moe says he was just doing his job; Fredo was having sex with cocktail waitresses two at a time. Hagen realizes Don Vito Corleone might be displeased with Fredo because of his loose attitude toward sex. Michael tells Moe to think about a price. Moe yells that he'll make the Don an offer. Fredo asks Hagen, as consigliori, to advise the Don about handling Moe in a better way. Michael says Hagen is no longer consigliori, but instead is the family's lawyer in Vegas. He then tells Fredo never to take sides against the family again. Moe and Fredo leave. Michael then visits Nino, who seems near death. As Michael boards the plane, he asks Neri about Moe. Neri taps his forehead and says, "I got Moe Greene mugged and numbered up here."

Analysis

In Book 7, Chapter 27, Puzo brings the theme of business versus personal back to center stage. The author explores how Michael and the Don interweave business and personal in three different ways.

The first method involves doing a personal favor that leads to business advantage. Years ago, the Don did a personal favor for his godson Johnny by getting him a plum role in a movie. At the time, the Don seemed to do this act purely out of love for Johnny. However, in reality, the Don was also setting up a situation that would help him in business. The Don and Michael want to move into Las Vegas and get involved in the hotels and casinos. So Michael asks Johnny to appear five times a year at one of the hotels owned by the Corleones to attract gamblers. By making these appearances, Johnny will greatly help the Corleones' business endeavors in Las Vegas. Johnny knows he must return the favor done to him by the Corleones, so he agrees.

The second method deals with taking an innocent service or favor and using it to set up a later advantage. Jules oversaw the surgery on Michael's face. He did this because Michael is a friend of Jules's girlfriend, Lucy Mancini. At the time, Jules probably did this for no other motive. Even so, Jules finds himself drawn into the Corleones' web of favors and counter favors. Because Jules made sure his surgery was done correctly, Michael conveniently feels he owes Jules. In reality, what Michael is doing is using Jules's service to set up a situation that might be advantageous to him later. Michael offers to set up Jules as a surgeon in a hospital. Jules doesn't want to accept such an offer if strings are attached. Michael then couches the offer as a friend doing something for another friend. Michael knows Jules would do the same for him. In this way, Jules gets sucked into the Corleone system without intending to.

The third method involves a fusion of business and personal that leads to a business advantage. The Don and Michael are displeased because Moe Greene's casino is losing money and because Moe slapped Fredo in public. The Don's and Michael's dislike of Moe Greene has closely linked personal and business reasons. Because of this, the solution is to eliminate Moe Greene by killing him. However, the Don and Michael want to accomplish this in a way that is financially profitable. They offer to buy out Moe's share of the hotel, knowing full well that Moe will get furious and refuse. In fact, Michael brings along his new bodyguard, Albert Neri, to get the image of Moe Greene in his head. This will prove helpful later when Neri kills Moe.

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