Vito is portrayed as a man who is looking for friendship in return for his services, a man who is happy on the day of his daughter’s wedding and is also hearing to people’s requests. He is shown as a loving and caring father and a husband to his family. Vito’s youngest son, Michael is a celebrated war hero who comes to the wedding with his girlfriend. Vito’s godson Johnny Fontane, a popular singer, pleads for help to secure a coveted movie role, so Vito dispatches his consigliore, Tom Hagen to the studio head, Jack Woltz, to secure the casting.
Woltz is unmoved until the morning he wakes up in bed with the severed head of his horse. Next, drug baron Sollozzo, backed by the Tattaglias, asks Vito for protection and in return he promises a share of his drug business, but Vito refuses. He disapproves of the drugs business. Sollozzo tries to get Vito killed but he survives and ends up in a hospital after being shot at five times by the assassins. Michael, his youngest son, saves his life in the hospital and in the meantime Vito’s eldest son Sontino takes over the family business. The book starts with the wedding of Don Vito Corleone’s daughter.
In the opening part of the book, Vito seems to be a very kind and ethical person. He listens to the requests of different people even on the day of his daughter’s wedding. He comes across as a man of moral values as he refused to kill a man on the request of the undertaker and also didn’t give support to Sollozzo’s drug cartel. Vito is depicted as a mafia lord who is also a family man. This comes across when he refuses to take a photo as his youngest son was not yet present at the wedding. We also see his leadership and persuasive skills by the way he deals with Woltz.
The way he refuses Sollozzo’s offer shows his negotiating skills. He seemed like a master of the art of surface-acting. He is very smart and logical as a mafioso, always knowing when to take a deal or not, and how to go about doing so PART 2: This part of the book shows the lives of different members of the Corleone family after the shooting of Vito. Sollozzo tries to pressurize Santino to accept his offer and also tries to murder Vito in the Hospital. Vito is saved by his son Michael. Michael comes up with a plan to kill Sollozzo and McCluskey. On the pretext of settling the dispute, Michael lures the pair to restaurant, murders them and flees to Sicily where he falls in love with a girl and marries her. A murder attempt against Michael saw his wife being killed. Meanwhile, the situation in America worsens as the five Underworld families takes to war. Santino is now in charge of his family business. He attacks his brother-in-law Carlo on the street for abusing his sister Connie. Carlo does the same thing again, and this time Santino is killed on his way to his sister’s home. Santino Corleone appears to be a hot headed man who is driven by emotions and who acts on impulse from time to time.
His behaviour is sometime not appropriate like when he speaks out of turn during the conversation between Sollozzo and Vito. His temper and impulsive attitude is seen when he attacks his brother-in-law in the street. Further, it was because of his this attitude he got killed while going to his sister’s house to repeat his act. His civilian son, Michael Corleone on the other hand appears to be calm and collected personality who thinks before taking an action. The way he plotted the murder of Sollozzo and the way he carried it out is a testimony to the same.