blood, place (land), and mind, or kinship, neighborhood, andnfriendship—are all encompassed in the family,” wrote thenGerman sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies, who first used thisnterminology, “but the first of them is the constituting elementnof it. . . . The prototype of the association in Gemeinschaftnremains the relationship between master and servantnor, better, between master and disciple.” Tonnies saw thenGemeinschaft pattern as dominant in the European MiddlenAges but as slowly disappearing before the revolutionarynchanges brought about by the rise of the Gesellschaft pattern innthe process of modernization.n”Conversely” to Gemeinschaft, writes Robert Nisbet,n”Gesellschaft . . . reflects the modernization of European society.n… In pure Gesellschaft, which for Tonnies is symbolizednby the modern economic enterprise and the network of legalnand moral relations in which it resides, we move to associationnthat is no longer cast in the mold of either kinship or friendship.n. . . The essence of Gesellschaft is rationality and calculation,”nan essence expressed in such modern organizationsnas corporations (for which Gesellschaft is the German word)nand the formal, impersonal, legalistic, bureaucratic organizationnof the modern state.nIt is a principal thesis of The Godfather that American societynis a Gesellschaft at war with the Gemeinschaft inherent innthe extended families of organized crime, and it is the claim ofnthe novel and even more intensely of the films that the trulynnatural, legitimate, normal, and healthy type of society is thatnof the gangs. It is a claim buttressed by the savage depictionsnnot only of the corrupt justice offered by America to Bonaseranbut also of virtually every character in both book and filmsnwho is not Sicilian and therefore is not part of the criminalnGemeinschaft: Kay Adams herself, the liberal WASP college girlnwho has no conception of the brutal forces that lie under andnaround her small social island; Jack Woltz, the vulgar and sexobsessednHollywood producer; Captain McCluskey, thencrooked Irish cop who is in the pay of Sollozzo; Moe Greene,nthe Las Vegas gangster based on Bugsy Siegel; and in Part II ofnthe film series, Nevada Senator Pat Geary and Hyman Roth, anfictionalized version of the late Meyer Lansky. Roth indeed isnthe most articulate and attractive of these representatives ofnthe American Gesellschaft, and except for Kay, who is merelyna child, most of them share certain characteristics. All ofnthem are motivated mainly by avarice, and the cash bond is thenonly one they acknowledge or understand. Most also lacknself-control; they lose their tempers unnecessarily and insultnand try to cheat men with whom they want to do business, andnsome are slaves to sexual lusts that the prudish Don Corleonenconsiders infamia. Lacking the natural bonds of Gemeinschaftnthrough strong family attachments, the characters who representnGesellschaft are bound only by their personal appetites,nand it is through their appetites—greed, anger, lust, obsessionnwith revenge served not cold but piping hot—that theynusually meet destruction.nBy contrast, the Gemeinschaft of the Corleone family isnembodied in Don Corleone himself, well-known for his humility,nhis caution, and his devotion to family. “A man whonnever spends time with his family can never be a real man,” hentells his godson, Johnny Fontane, who has been unmannednby Hollywood Gesellschaft, but the remark is really addressednto his real son Santino, who is preoccupied with sex. “Evennthe King of Italy didn’t dare to meddle with the relationship ofnhusband and wife,” the Don tells his own daughter when shencomplains that her husband is beating her. Outside the bondnof family and friendship, outside the Gemeinschaft, Don Corleonenbelieves, man cannot be man, and men who put theirntrust in the contrary type, represented by the AmericannGesellschaft, have ceased to be fully human and lack the virtunthat Machiavelli commends. “You can act like a man,” thenDon roars at Fontane when the singer weeps and whines inndespair about his misfortunes.nFor all the contrast between legitimate andncriminal society, at last, when the final mask isntorn off, there is no difference at all; thenCorleone family is based on fraud as well asnforce, and it does indeed melt into and becomenindistinguishable from America.nThese are beliefs deeply shared by Michael Corleone himself,nthough not at the beginning of the novel, when, tellingnKay about his family, he says, “That’s my family, Kay. It’snnot me.” Michael enlisted in the Marines in Worid War II, despitenhis father’s arrangement of a draft deferment for him, tonshow his rejection of his family and his heritage, and his ambitionnto go to law school and marry Kay show his aspiration,nthe same as Bonasera’s, to melt into the American pot. Yetnblood will tell. The attempted murder of his father and the attacknon his family draw Michael naturally back to his roots, andnhis exile in Sicily completes his assimilation into the Gemeinschaftnand the ethnic heritage he had rejected.nThe polarity of Gesellschaft and Gemeinschaft is clear in thennovel and in Part I of the film series, but in Part II, somethingnelse develops, introducing yet another level of meaning.nIn the book and Part I, the Corleone family is radicallyndistinct from the “normal” Gesellschaft society of America. InnPart II, however, the family itself is changing, and the evolutionnis already well under way when the film opens. Divided intonflashback scenes describing the youth of Vito Corleone innNew York’s Little Italy in the I920’s and the main story set innthe late I950’s in Nevada and Cuba, much of the film actionnin Part II plays off corresponding scenes from Part I, and thenflashback sequences offer subtle commentaries on sequencesnfrom the main story line. The integration of film sequencesnand plot make brilliantly clear the evolution that is takingnplace inside the Corleone family itself and in the larger societynfor which the family remains a metaphor.nThus, the opening scene in the main story line of Part II isnthe confirmation of Michael’s son, Anthony, in the CatholicnChurch, a sequence that corresponds to and plays off of thenopening wedding sequence from Part I. But while the weddingnsequence is an immersion into pure Gemeinschaft, the confirmationnsequence by contrast reveals that Gesellschaft isnrapidly catching up with the Corleones. At the wedding, thenband is Italian, and the guests sing and dance with the band tontraditional Sicilian wedding music. In the confirmation sequence,na professional orchestra and professional dancers perform,nand none of the musicians is Italian or knows ItaliannnnOCTOBER 1992/27n