Italian American Stereotyping Essay

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Italian-American Stereotyping

Despite the unique migratory circumstances that ere the basis of Europeans' arrival on this continent and the instrumental nature foreign natives have had on the founding and growth of this country, the society of the United States of America has maintained an often rather vocal anti-immigrant attitude with some consistency. Though many ethnic and national groups have come under specific attention in this regard from time to time, perhaps no single group of immigrants has been more regularly and consistently stereotyped than Italian-Americans. The negative stereotypes of Italian immigrants, and thus Italian-Americans, began, as such sentiments often (perhaps always) do, with simple miscommunications; the cultural and linguistic barriers and competition for employment forced Italian-Americans into closed ethnic communities, and they began to earn the reputation of ruthless and hypocritical criminals -- a stereotype that is actually perpetuated by many Italian-Americans today.

Francis Ford Coppola contributes to this self-stereotyping of Italian-Americans in his famous Godfather trilogy. Though the story contains well-rounded characters and an intricate plot, thanks to the novel by Mario Puzo upon which the films -- especially the first -- are based, the notions of Italian-American criminality and ruthlessness are hugely emphasized by this film -- they are, in fact, the film's focus and sole basis. The highly romanticized view of the violence, and the depth of the passion and sadness felt by the characters involved, actually serves to make the lifestyle and worldview here ascribed to Italian-Americans as some sort of noble ideal to be aspired to. Though Michael enjoys his time in Italy, he is not fully content to sit across the Atlantic from where the action is, and both the beginning and end of his stay there are marked y intensely personal acts of extreme violence -- his shooting of the family's rivals in the restaurant, and the death of his young Italian wife by a car bomb that was meant for him. The message that death and violence are the true motivators for these people -- in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Italian American Stereotyping.  (2008, December 19).  Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/italian-american-stereotyping/720034

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"Italian American Stereotyping."  Essaytown.com.  December 19, 2008.  Accessed January 25, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/italian-american-stereotyping/720034.