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The Narrative Code of “Goodfellas”

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The Narrative Code of "Goodfellas" Code of Dimensions: Setting: Brooklyn and Queens, New York. Time: 1950-1980 Imagery: Majority of the time we see images of drugs, cigars, guns and knives which are used and carried around by the goodfellas. This act as icons, which illustrate what the mafia are renound for and the real job of these characters, is to steal and to kill. City area is the basis of the scenes, where shots in restaurants and in bars are utilised. These are the places where these men negotiate their deals and handle their money as well as eat pasta, drink their whiskies and play poker. Pasta also is symbolic of Italy, where the Mafia originated from portraying that these gangsters are patriotic for their Sicilian roots, which are required to become the ultimate "wise guy". This imagery provides us with insight into the lives of people within the mafia and the power that they attain by being gangsters. Atmosphere: A constant tense atmosphere is built up within the film. This indicates the unpredictable lives of these people, and how one minute they have cars, money, rich homes and lots of girls but the next minute they could be in jail or killed. Also even though a sense of trust is build between the characters towards the start of the film, as the plot thickens we observe that negotiations ...read more.


Relationship between Paulie and Henry - Paulie acts as a father figure to Henry telling him and training him to become a wise guy. This relationship helps us to understand and emphasise with the pain that Paulie feels when Henry betrays him with his drugs deals in Pittsburgh as well as in the Courtroom. Turning Points: He gets caught selling stolen cigars by police. However he goes to court and tells them nothing allowing Paulie and Jimmy to trust him, and showing a compulsory quality for becoming a goodfella. This gains him respect Tommy kills "Bates", the untouchable Cuban gang leader, due to a silly argument, which shows Henry how irrational his colleagues can be. This is where he realises that some of the actions that his group take a wrong and immoral. Climatic point of plot. Henry contemplates leaving Karen for his "bitch" Janice - Paulie and Jimmy talk to him and persuade him to stay with her for the sake of his crew Jimmy and Henry go to Tampa Bay to get someone from a client. However, Clients sister is a typist for the FBI who dobs the two into to the police. As a punishment both get 10 years imprisonment even though overall they and up doing 4 years. ...read more.


Robert De Niro who is already a clich´┐Ż in gangster films plays Jimmy who is a suave and sophisticated character. He has a cooler persona within his character due to the fact that he instructs Henry as well as works with him. He has a fiery temperament, which scares people, which is how he gets respect, which leads into power over other people. We also observe that he is a generous character within his crew, providing money and tips to everyone he meets showing how he enjoys flaunting his money to portray himself as being a "big shot". Tommy grows up and learns alongside Henry. However he is more temperamental then Henry and takes things to heart. He also takes things to the extreme and if he does not like something the only way to resolve things is to kill. For example he shot a waiter in the foot for not giving him his drink showing the irrationality of his character. He though is the joker of the three, frequently making jokes with his other colleagues and is the only one that holds the potential of being made into a wise guy. We also see his relationship with his mother, and observe how he only uses her when he needs something and rarely listens to what she says. His shows how he has more respect for his crew as opposed to his family highlighting the fact that his crew are the most important thing in his life. ...read more.

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