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The social structures that surround us in most of the times influence us either negatively or positively. In actual sense, the social surrounding of a human being matters so much and generally the expectations that one has determines the course of action taken. In this context, it is an updated review of the film GoodFellas by Scorseses. The movie was adapted in 1990 when a review by Ebert Roger was done. It is actually a film about organized crime and how the social structure that Henry Hill grew in and how it influenced his decisions finally leading to his downfall. According to Ebert (1990), the mood of the character is that of guilty and regret owing to quick and stupid decisions made (1). In actual sense, there is wastage of lifetimes as loyalty turns to be betrayal. Guilty has been prevalent with the characters but unfortunately they feel guilty for violating the rule of the mob. There is an aspect that makes some characters to remember the bad ways and refute the good life. In this connection, there is always a conflict between an outsider and insider and in most cases the insider prevails not willing to be influenced by the outsider.
Following this point, there is a conflict between the insider and the outsider whereby the insider is Mafia and the outsider is any one who is not a Mafioso. As a matter of fact, GoodFellas is a memoir of life in mafia (Ebert 1). Henry Hill is the narrator in first person whose ambition since childhood is to become a Mafioso of whom he thought were wise guys. His ambition was in actuality to become a gangster as this seemingly was the real world and anybody out of this was not in the real world. The director in this case is Scorseses who happens to be an outsider who is able to know the life in the city inside out. This is given to the reason that he was asthmatic and was mostly overlooked. Henry looked through the window watching the neighborhood gangsters and desired the life. He desired such life as the outside life that he could make sports he missed due to the ailment.
In line with this, the film is directed at revealing what the life in mafia was and how it actually conflicted with the normal outside life. This is a clear indication that sometimes the social structure may create ambitions that were not previously in an individual. As a kid, Henry anticipates becoming a gangster and he begins to hang around with them. He is them taken as a surrogate son by Paulie Cicero as he was doing errands with the gangsters (Denby 80). He starts with petty crime and he chooses jail over ratting on with partners in crime. This qualifies him to the family and he rises up the rank and becomes Paulie's lieutenant. It is revealed to him that he cannot become a made guy due to ethnicity just as it was the case for his mentor Jimmy. In the end, he becomes a target for both the mobsters and feds as owing to his dealings he was a threat.
The actors and the acting cannot actually be separated. As it has been highlighted, there is a conflict between the outsider and insider and this can be done by closely analyzing the actors and what they their acting is. Henry Hill is represented saying, "As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster. Being a gangster was better than being a president of the United States (Holmlund 33). It meant being somebody in a neighborhood of nobodies as one would do what he wanted and there was nobody to call the cops (Pomerance 85). Henry spends time in a cabstand near a near Cicero patriarch of criminology. At the age of thirteen, the narrator Henry was making more money than grownups an aspect that really inspired him. He first steals bootleg cigarettes for his mentor Jimmy who congratulates him at arrest and Paulie announces him as a full member of the family of the criminals. In actual sense, Henry calls good people who work for paychecks as dead as for Henry and the group they only had to take anything they wanted (Holmlund 34).
In the long run, Henry meets with Karen eventually marrying her (Denby 80). Karen has no idea what Henry did but soon she realized and embraced it and she was even proud of the fact that the husband had the strength to rob for a living. This is an indication that mafia life influenced the outsider Karen who though had good morals fell at the expense of romance and money and the fact that she lived within the confines of the group of the mobsters. According to Pomerance (2007), she is actually similar to female figures viewed as outsiders by virtue of their ethnicity, class, or aspirations (84). According to Karen's observations, there is no outsider who is allowed in the Cicero gang family as they were very close and there were absolutely no outsiders around. This made it possible for them to see their immoral activities as normal. The kind of houses, stores, dinners and jails reveal a predominating interior setting for the mobster group. There is the aspect of commuting to the city while living in suburbs which grants the group an interior life stetting. Henry is actually a master of his space but he remains an outsider by virtue of his birthright as he was not an Italian American (Miliora 56).
Though so much valued and accepted by the Cicero family, his Irish blood denies him full belonging. It is evidenced when he turns against the tradition by engaging in drug trafficking. He is punished by being exiled to live as he says, "an average nobody" where he finally drowns in a suburban anonymity (Pomerance 85). The actors, Henry, Jimmy and Tommy finally become greedy, in effect and addicted to the money and power they have.
In the same line of thought, Henry becomes addicted to dugs of which he finally destroys himself. In addition, Jimmy is killed due to the fact that he violated the rules of the mob. Jimmy is send to prison and Henry turns state's evidence and enters witness protection program. Apparently, gangs form their system like a church with a set system of beliefs. They actually spent time together which makes them feel that they are special than any other group owing to their membership to this group. From a broader point of view, the gang is a group of insiders who feel contempt for and suspicious about those outside the group (Miliora 56). The hero of this film feels guilty for not upholding the Mafia code and thus he was guilty of the sin of betrayal. And his punishment is banishment, into the witness protection program, where nobody has a name and the headwaiter certainly doesn't know it (Ebert 1).
Generally speaking, the conflict between the insider and outsider has been so much pronounced. The gang group is set with rules and regulations that should not be violated. The mobster is viewed as the real world and so to speak, social structure is potentially influential in terms of the behavior adapted. When the outsider is allowed to mix with the insider, destruction is inevitable and therefore this is what led to the destruction of the Cicero gang family as they included, Henry an outsider who could not adhere to the mob rules along with Tommy who had to be killed. Therefore, were it not for the influence of the social structure of gangsters, henrys would not have become a criminal and therefore, there is a conflict between outsider and insider and in most cases, the insider prevails and thus not willing to be exposed can end up killing as it is the case for Tommy who was killed for violation of the mob rule.