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Road To Perdtion Essay

             The film "Road to Perdition" is a film like no other. From the title, the academically minded may gather that the movie may involve or end with tragedy as Perdition means eternal damnation. So "How does the title "Road to Perdition" relate to the characters and themes in the movie?".
             The text is set in the late 1920's, early thirties in the era of mobsters and gangsters in Chicago. Being involved in the mafia comes with the perks of protection, power and money but anything that has negative effects towards the collective family results in instant death. Such is the life Michael Sullivan and his family lead. In Michael Sullivan's younger days, John Rooney (who is the mafia boss of Chicago) looked after him, raised him, and gave him a home when he had nothing. "He was like a father to me", as Sullivan stated. The son of the mafia mob boss of Chicago (Conner Rooney), one night in an act of rage driven by jealousy because of his fathers affections towards Michael Sullivan, slayed the Sullivan family. He only successfully killed Michael's wife and youngest son Peter as they were the only two present at their residents at the time. Michael Sullivan himself and his other older son Michael Sullivan Jnr., were not present at the time of the murder. This is the first convention of a revenge tragedy."The hero has been violently wronged".
             This slaying of his family gives Michael Sullivan strong ambition to seek revenge against Conner Rooney for the acts he has committed. The second convention of a revenge tragedy is also already apparent to the viewer. That convention is that the protagonist has justification (to the viewer's satisfaction) for seeking revenge. .
             Sullivan quickly finds out that if he is to do so, he will be opposing the might of the mafia as well as the man that raised him.John Rooney. This raises a strong moral dilemma in the movie as by killing Conner Rooney, he is betraying his emotional father John Rooney.

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