Please help me understand this?

Hi, below is an excerpt from 'The Godfather' by Mario Puzo, please refer to the questions followed by the passage below:

"Now on this great day, his daughter’s wedding day, Don Vito Corleone stood in the doorway of his Long Beach home to greet his guests, all of them known, all of them trusted. Many of them owed their good fortune in life to the Don and on this intimate occasion felt free to call him “Godfather” to his face."

What does it mean that they owed their 'good fortune' to him? What does good fortune refer to there?

And also why is it an 'intimate' occasion? It's just a wedding, isn't intimate a sexual thing? How does that apply here? I'm confused.

3 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    intimate means deeply personal, and that is really what it means even when used as a euphemism for sexual activities (a way of telling us that sex was involved without using the actual word sex).  For the Italian family, for that culture, the wedding is a deeply personal event.  You don't just invite anyone and everyone, and it is not a trivial thing either.  It is important and it is a matter of pride and family and values.

    good fortune in life means that life has been good to them as a general thing.  they have a nice family, a decent income, and all those things that make life good.  Fortune really means "chance" in this use, but the "chance" has been influenced a lot by the interventions of the Godfather.  In effect, he is like loaded dice, the chances of "winning" are improved when you have his support.  The people know this and are thankful for it.  The term "godfather" is a sign of respect and a way to lower oneself to the great one to whom you are speaking.  When they call him Godfather, they aren't just saying words, they are professing fealty, acknowledging that he is the head man around there, and that whatever they have in life is largely because the Godfather allowed it to happen or made it happen.

  • 4 weeks ago

    It means the Don pulled some strings to help them out, and "intimate" doesn't refer only to sex.  It also applies to emotional intimacy.

  • RP
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    In this context, good fortune means success. While intimate can be a reference to sexual activity, it is also used to describe sharing something very personal or close to an individual. Many would consider attending a wedding as an intimate experience because relatively few people attend the marriage of a couple and there is hardly anything more personal than getting married.

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