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Task Archetype Essay

Every man is born with a task which he must fulfill and if he is successful, the world recognizes him for it. Fate is unarguably the main factor that pushes a man towards his task; he is nothing but fate’s puppet. Task can be as simple as finishing homework which will get you good marks, to complex things such as deciding your family’s fate through your actions. The situational archetype of The Task is precisely analyzed and adapted in Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part 1 and 2 movie and The Real Godfather documentary. The archetype “The task” is well explained and adapted in the novel, The Godfather. Michael Corleone is one of the main protagonists who demonstrates his task perfectly. Michael, a war-hero, never wishes to get involved in his family business and yet is forced to get involved as life plays its tricks on him. Vito Corleone, Michael’s father and the Mafia boss of the Corleone family, is almost assassinated by hitmens (Puzo, 78-79) and is admitted in a hospital. Shortly after Michael visits his father in the hospital, Cpt. McCluskey arrives and punches Michael in the face, breaking his jaw for showing disrespect to him (Puzo, 129-130).

This is the triggering point of Michael’s fate of him getting involved in the family’s business because the hit was not to his body but to his father’s life and his pride. Michael accepts and performs his task of enormous proportion by volunteering to take out the enemies of the family (Puzo, 135-136). This superhuman deed of Michael fulfilling his task identifies him and allows him to assure his rightful position in the family as the future Don Corleone. The task is also portrayed in the movies: Godfather part 1 and 2. In part 1, Michael Corleone visually displays his task being fulfilled. When Michael Corleone is set to get revenge for his father as discussed in the previous paragraph, Michael’s older brother Sonny Corleone says, “You’re taking this very personal […] this man is taking it very, very personal” (Godfather I) and Michael coldly replies, “It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business” (Godfather I).

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Michael’s resolve is so strong to achieve his task only due to the fateful circumstances that lead him towards it. Don Vito Corleone often tells Michael that, “Every man has but one destiny” (Godfather I) meaning that a member of a Mafia family cannot defy his fate. This is proven as unfortunate circumstances in Michael’s life get him involved in the family which has always been his fateful task. In Godfather II, Michael is shown fulfilling his task but at the same time facing many hardships such as assassination attempts and losing his family. This shows how Michael fulfills his fateful task while facing the harshest problems any man in the world can face.

Finally, the task archetype influences the thinking of everyday people in the world and this is shown through the documentary: The Real Godfather. This documentary basically shows how world of mobsters was influenced by the Godfather series and vice-versa. In the late 1970s, Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather was an instant success globally and Paramount pictures wanted to turn this epic classic novel into an epic classic movie which was their task. Little did they know the gravity of problems they were going to face later on. Since Godfather was based on Italian-Americans, a civil-rights league of Italian-Americans decided to be not in favor of the movie as it exposed their people too much. The league had connections with the mobs of New York City, who threatened the directors and producers of Paramount.

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