From The Godfather (Senator Geary is talking to Michael Corleone, who is proposing to make a deal with him):

Senator: I'll do business with you, but the fact is that I despise your masquerade, the dishonest way you pose yourself. Yourself and your whole f***ing family.

I didn't understand that sentence in its construction. Senator says that he despise Micheal's masquerade, now he says the dishonest way you pose yourself. Yourself and your whole f***ing family. Is it the masquerade he mentioned earlier? Because pose means To represent oneself falsely; pretend to be other than what one is, so what's so dishonest in that?

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    What is not dishonest about pretending to be other than what one is? Jul 19, 2015 at 6:13
  • @StoneyB What do you mean? He was talking about dishonest way to pass himself off as someone else. What is that way? Jul 19, 2015 at 7:02
  • Ah, now I see what you mean. 1) You've misquoted: it should read "the dishonest way you pose yourself". (I've corrected this in your question.) That doubtless confused you. 2) This is a common transposition in colloquial English: the dishonest way you pose is equivalent to the way you dishonestly pose, with way understood not merely as manner but as habitual practice. Jul 19, 2015 at 7:23
  • @StoneyB so the dishonest way he posed himself is the masquearade, right? Jul 19, 2015 at 18:48
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    Yes, pose, masquerade, and dishonest, are all Geary's terms for sneering at Michael and his family and the entire Italian immigrant community: “I don’t like your kind of people. I don’t like to see you coming out to this clean country, with your oily hair, dressed in those silk suits, trying to pass yourselves off as decent Americans.” Jul 19, 2015 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


Yes, he is saying that he is disgusted by the way Michael Corleone presents himself and his family to the world. The senator is saying that Michael Corleone is lying to everyone about who and what he is. This definition of the word "pose" carries a very negative connotation, and it amounts to calling someone a dishonest fake.

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