9

In the opening scenes of The Godfather during Connie's wedding to Carlo, Tom Hagen has a discussion with Vito Corleone regarding his new son-in-law:

Tom: Do we give your son-in-law something important?

Vito: Never. Give him a living, but never discuss the family business with him.

What exactly did Vito mean by this? Wouldn't giving Carlo a "living" directly involve him in the family business?

7

The quote really speaks for itself.

Tom: Do we give your son-in-law something important?

Vito: Never. Give him a living, but never discuss the family business with him.

What Tom is asking is, should they give Carlo a job high up in the Corleone organisation and Vito is say "No".

Vito wants Carlo to be given a low level role in the organisation but nothing where he could learn anything important.

Equally, Tom is instructed to make sure that Carlo is not given any information about the higher workings of the Corleone organisation even though he is a member of the actual family by marriage.

The novel makes this clearer...

“Your new son-in-law. Do we give him something important, inside the Family?”

He was surprised at the vehemence of the Don’s answer. “Never.” The Don hit the desk with the flat of his hand. “Never. Give him something to earn his living, a good living. But never let him know the Family’s business. Tell the others, Sonny, Fredo, Clemenza."

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

2

Well there's family business and there's family business. The Corleone family have legitimate businesses as well for money laundering/cover etc (eg Genco olive oil). What Vito suggests is that Conny's husband be given a good job with one of these, and ensure he isn't involved in any discussions around the main (illegal) businesses.

0

The reason Vito didn't want Carlo to be in the family business was because Carlo's knowing too much about family operations can make him a target for betrayal resulting in his being assassinated either by Corleone's enemies or Vito himself.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .