Throughout Mario Puzo's work, The Godfather, a number of characters are described and brought to life through actions, thoughts, and speech. Each individual character, whether real, romantic, or an amalgamation of the two, enhances the plot and message of Puzo's novel. In some cases two or more characters share traits and values but veer down completely different paths in the novel. One such example is that of Captain McCluskey and Vito "Don" Corleone. These two characters so abundantly encompass and posses similar values, beliefs, and means and ideas of power that one can classify Captain McCluskey as a true Don-like character.
The most prominent and recognizable value of both McCluskey and Vito Corleone is their belief in taking care of one's family. The Don measured men not by money or possessions, but by their involvement in family. "A man who is not a father to his children can never be a real man." The single reason McCluskey took grafts from the job was to support his family and give them a better life. .
"Why the hell should his kids go to CCNY or a cheap Southern College just because the Police Department didn't pay its people enough money to live on and take care of their families properly?".
From this extreme belief in family stem other beliefs and values shared by both Vito and McCluskey.
McCluskey shares the belief of self-reliance with Don Corleone. However, both men rely on themselves not to better the individual, but rather the entire family. Everything Vito Corleone obtained was accomplished of his own accord. Despite the racism towards Irish and Italian immigrants, he worked on the railroad, providing for his family until he could make a move on Fanucci. He took any measure possible to ensure his personal success while ascending to the summit of the New York families. Following his topping of the families, he slowly bought an entire compound with houses for his family and close friends.