Empty...

#2
...musing your very own conclusions. Either Carm remains caught up in that wistful reenactment-moment of AJ as kid peddling down driveway in his Big Wheel, and is feeling her losses in the form of the empty nest. Or, as you suggested, Tony has cleaned her out. Remember how she was fairly...no, very...indiscreet about property issues in front of Janice. Well, tipped off by Janice, Tony has possibly made a preemptive strike...

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Re: Empty...

#3
You know I've read posts on other boards of people wondering if that shot of Carm meant the house was empty, literally. It never occurred to me because that foyer is always sparsely furnished, if at all, and nothing looked out of place to my eye. I took it entirely as Carm's emotional nadir, entering the huge, opulent home that she so wanted but without the family she valued even more.

I have to say, however, that I'm almost laughing my butt off at the notion of Tony stealing all of the stuff out of the house. It would be very much a Tony thing to do, and we already saw what he did with the theatre equipment.

Preseason promos do show them in what will apparently be a NASTY argument over what Carmela is "entitled" to. So perhaps if he hasn't cleaned her out yet, he will soon.

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Empty Nest.

#6
I agree with Rightfielder, especially with the flash back of her trying to prevent a very young AJ from riding his big wheel in to the street. Carm feels all her little ducklings have flown out of the nest and the resulting emptiness of not being able to protect them.

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Carmela and the empty house

#7
"Carm feels all her little ducklings have flown out of the nest and the resulting emptiness of not being able to protect them."

Not so much, I think. What I believe that scene showed is that Carmela has lost her family. You folks don't seem to realize that the woman doesn't get much love on this show, especially now. AJ didn't "leave the nest", in the real sense of the expression, as in a child who has finally grown up and is now living on his own. He was living there and Carmela realized that because the kid neither liked, loved nor respected her, not only was she unable to control or discipline him properly, but she herself would forever be trying to compete with Tony for AJ's affection and loyalty--with disastrous results for the disciplining of the kid. So she told Tony to take AJ in, which I think everyone agrees was the best decision.

As well, Carmela's brief phone exchange with Meadow shows that Meadow is rather distant and unaffectionate towards her, as well--in fact, it was her conflict with Meadow that was the original parent-child conflict (aside from that between Tony and Livia) in the entire series.

So how does Carmela feel now? She's separated from her husband, and her two kids, to whom she's devoted the last two decades of her life, seem to want as little to do with her as possible. For 20 years, she eschewed divorce or separation and put up with all sorts of stress--a cheating husband, the worry over whether he might be hurt or killed because of his job, the intrusions of inspections by FBI agents, the danger of her husband being thrown in jail, not pursuing a career of her own, not being able to know where her family's money came from, not being able to be financially independent--for the sake of preserving and serving her family, like any good daughter of the Church would do. When she finally couldn't take her husband's infidelity anymore and separated from him (another right decision!), she still did her utmost to make the best of a tough situation and to be there for her kids.

What is her reward now? An empty house. The woman has done her best for her family all her life and now she's lost her family. Tony was the one who cried about the possibility of it, in the pilot episode, but in the end, his kids are still loyal to him and love him--it's Carmela who's totally gotten the shaft, even though she still has the house. The woman is one seriously tragic figure.

And yet few on this message board seem inclined to discuss this. Every time I bring it up, people seem to duck the subject. I can't help but wonder why.

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Re: Carmela and the empty house

#8
aalleyene, I agree with you in large measure and have expressed similar sympathies for the tragedy Carmela's life has become in other threads. In case you thought otherwise, my amusement over Tony possibly stealing household valuables is not about a lack of compassion for Carmela but about how intrinsically petty and hilariously Tony-like that scenario is. Ever since (if not before) Second Opinion, one of my all-time favorite eps, I think Carm has clearly established herself as the show's most pitiable character.

The only significant point of departure I have with you is the degree to which I'm willing to ascribe pure altruism (love for family, concern for children, obedience to the Church, belief in the "sanctity" and irrevocability of marriage vows) to her motives for staying with Tony for so many years. In her rare but most lucid, sober self reflections, she admitted that she lusted for material things so much that she was willing to suffocate her own moral objections as to how Tony "earned" them. That is a far bigger sin on her part than having initially "bargained" for a marriage that included infidelity. She finally rejected him because of the latter. But the other is the essential truth she must confront, and, most importantly, act upon by rejecting Tony?s wealth, if she is to ever find a life of contentment and the kind of love she really wants and deserves. Perhaps Madame Bovary, in some indirect way, will start her on that path.

That said, I share your seeming bewilderment at the rampant Carmela haters here and elsewhere, apparently 99% of whom are male and many of whom demonstrate a special affinity for the misogynistic characters and elements of the show anyway. I surmise they don?t want to parse Carmela?s complexity. To them, she?s a simple gold digger that ?made her bed? and now wants to back out of her marital bargain. They don?t see that, along with the truth that she married Tony for ?things? and looked the other way while he stole and sometimes killed to get them, she also married him because she genuinely loved him. They don?t see or care that she did, as you point out, build her entire identify and self-esteem by being a wife and mother, by the preparation of endless elaborate meals, by washing and folding infinite loads of clothes, by her involvement in schools and in organizing and facilitating her children?s birthday parties and recreational and social lives, by endless chauffeuring, and by the thousands of other ?little? things that add up to one HUGE thing: making your life about someone else?s.

And she wasn?t just a mother to Meadow and AJ. Though I?m sure neither Tony nor Carm ever consciously contemplated the dynamics of their attraction when they married as 20 year-olds, I?m equally sure that he instinctively saw in her the kind of loving, nurturing care-giver that he would like to have had for a mother and that Carmela instinctively recognized in Tony a man-child with substantial psychologic damage inflicted by a hellish mother, damage that Carmela?s mothering instincts drove her want to assuage. So theirs was an inevitable, symbiotic attraction. And if there is hope that they will ever reunite, IMO it?s because that factor has never really changed. The ?neurotic interdependency? that is most often called ?love? is still palpable between them.


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Empty House

#9
aalleyene, I can see both your and FOMW's point, but don't you think that showing the flashback of Carm's fear of AJ speeding toward the gate on his big wheel toward dangerous road outside the home, as her feeling she has lost AJ to the possibly dangerous world. Carm no longer has the control to protect him from potential dangers of the outside world including surrendering him to Tony's world.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub132.ezboard.com/bsopranolandforum.showUserPublicProfile?gid=sopranogirl@sopranolandforum>Sopranogirl</A> at: 4/2/04 9:16 pm

Madame Bovary

#10
It's been awhile since I've read Madame Bovary, but A.J.'s school counselor told Carmella that it was a story about a lady who got trapped up in this fantasy world and ended up a tragic figure because that fantasy never became reality.

Does anyone think that this was a foreshadowing of the counselor Carmella chasing this fantasy of having a legitmate life with kids that love her and a husband that is faithful and that Carmella is going to end up a tragic figure simply because that never is going to happen yet she seems to be chasing it, but never attaining it?

I like Carmella, but we always talk about how real this show is and what makes the Sopranos family any different than any other mob family? We are all convinced that Carmella is old school so why should she turn out any different than Rosalie Aprile?

I think Carmella saying "We are where we are. It's for the best" during Whitecaps is true, except that she has to realize that where she is is with Tony and her kids. I'm not mysognistic in that I think Carmella made her bed and now she should lie in it, but seriously, if we are talking reality, what options are avaiable to Carmella?

It's not like she has been working as a lawyer for the last 20 years and now decided she wants to be a doctor. She's made some choices that aren't easily eraseable and it's very very unlikely she can start over from scratch.

If Carmella really wanted those things and very much assessed where she was and what she wanted, then she should high tail it out of New Jersey as fast as possible. She has nothing left for her at all. A seperation and no loyalty from her children.

Fiction is filled with tragic figures and I think as much as we'd all like to see Carmella come out on top, she's just a tragic figure. She has nothing so why not start over in Seattle or Chicago or Indianapolis or Denver or someplace like that?

Although it's tragic for Carmella right now, I think it's going to get a lot more tragic because I just don't see how A.J. makes it out of Season 5 alive.

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