<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Tony doesnt ask a priest for forgiveness. Hes a mob boss, and he just wants to make $ and stay out of jail.<hr></blockquote>
Is that supposed to make Tony more admirable than Carmela, less morally contemptible? Is the fact that he's an overgrown infant who demands instant gratification of every whim and urge something that should entitle him to less reproach from viewers? Or that he wants to possess as many "things" as possible and steals to get them, or that he rarely gives more than a moment's thought to anyone else's needs or feelings? Is Carmela's sin of "hypocrisy" worse than Tony's sins of hypocrisy, murder, theft, and near-daily episodes of adultery? Because you'd sure think so by the sheer volume of posts denouncing Carmela as evil incarnate by posters who concomitantly think Tony is one cool dude.
As Meadow so presciently said in season 2, "sometimes we're all hypocrites." And I issue that reminder to anyone who contends that Carmela is in any way the moral equivalent or inferior of Tony.
The only reason Tony, whose own hypocrisy DWARFS Carmela's, hasn't sought "forgiveness" for his sins is that he almost never consciously admits he's sinned! Every single time Melfi has tried to confront him on the immorality of his conduct, rare as those occasions are, he sits in defensive silence, changes the subject, evades, or eschews personal accountability by angrily attacking the immorality of other people (Richie, Ralph, large corporations "dumping toxic waste", you name it). Of course the other reason he doesn't seek forgiveness is that he doesn't really believe in God or in an absolute code of morality, of good and evil. He has no use for forgiveness since he doesn't fear the consequences of not receiving it.
Don't get me wrong. I think Tony does have a conscience, buried as he keeps it most times, and this is one major factor that makes him so interesting. But all his conflicts of conscience are largely unconscious, percolating upward in panic attacks, depression, displaced fits of violent rage, and the like. His conscious mind can't or won't let his conscience permeate the "straw house that shelter's his base criminality", as Richard La Penna put it.
However hypocritical Carmela has been and remains by continuing to live in that house and accept Tony's money, she is at least conflicted at a conscious level about issues of sin and good and evil. She has at least on several occasions openly acknowledged her own culpability for willingly profiting from Tony's crimes, displaying a truly profound level of inner torture over that fact.
And I didn?t see Carmela ANYWHERE in this episode go looking for unconditional forgiveness. Quite the contrary. She invited Father Inentola to dinner and later went to confession because she was conflicted, spiritually and intellectually. She didn?t demand absolution and could not have realistically expected it. But because she?d put up with 20 years of incorrigible, remorseless, increasingly flagrant betrayal by her husband, part of her wanted to hear that she shouldn?t be bound by sham marriage vows. She hoped he?d see what is obvious to any decent thinking person who?s not hiding behind the thinly veiled sexism of Catholic doctrine: that a party to a contract (in this case, a marital contract) is not obliged to keep her end of the bargain when the other party has been in flagrant breach for 20 years.
So I have to ask again: why, when Carmela's sins (by any rational standard) are mole hills next to the mountains of Tony and company's sins; why, when she is at least willing to admit that there is such a thing as sin and that she's committed her share, is Carmela subjected to such relatively unearned and disproportionate viewer contempt?
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>what the hell, are you a psychiatrist?<hr></blockquote>
Not by a long shot. That's ObservingEgo's territory.:-)
But I'm a contemplative person whose parents were incredibly insightful about human behavior and human nature. So I like to think I've learned a few things about people.
</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub132.ezboard.com/bsopranolandforum.showUserPublicProfile?gid=flyonmelfiswall>FlyOnMelfisWall</A> at: 4/12/04 3:33 am