Prior to the assassination attempt against Don Vito, Michael’s whole trajectory had been a sort of WASP-ization, a gradual migration towards the “respectable” law-and-order Anglo-American values incarnated in Kay. He explicitly rejected - and told her about this - his family’s recourse to criminal or anti-social shortcuts. And it seems this cultural journey of his was a foundational element in their relationship.

When he meets up with her after returning home, he’s a completely different person. When we contrast the way he speaks with her in front of her school versus the way he’d spoken with her at Connie’s wedding, we almost get the sense he’s been brainwashed. The bridge from her apparent hesitation to her capitulation does not seem clear.

Why does this new Michael not scare the living daylights out of Kay? Was she actually enamored with that tiny bit of the “exotic,” Latin “other” in Michael all along and his transformation just made him all the sexier to her? I’m not sure I read any evidence of this.

Any ideas?

1 Answer 1


There's no explaining love...

It's quite clear that Kay loves Michael whether he's a criminal or even a murderer.

Kay said, “I don’t care, I love you, I don’t care. If you loved me you wouldn’t be afraid to tell me the truth. You wouldn’t be afraid I might tell the police. That’s it, isn’t it? You’re really a gangster then, isn’t that so? But I really don’t care. What I care about is that you obviously don’t love me. You didn’t even call me up when you got back home.”

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

Also Michael is fighting to take the Corleone Family completely legitimate in a 5 year plan which alleviates her concerns somewhat but, as we know, that doesn't work out as planned.

  • Interesting, thanks! But if she thought Michael didn’t love her, what did he do to prove himself?
    – rpmth
    Aug 30, 2020 at 11:36
  • I can only suggest reading the book...it's worth taking the time.
    – Paulie_D
    Aug 30, 2020 at 11:49

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