Is Carmela really a good mother?

#1
This question may appear to some to be a bit generic and not really worthy of much discussion. I deliberately phrased it from the assumption that she IS a good mother. I did this because I had always been of that general opinion and thought most people would be of a similar viewpoint.
However, I read something recently that got me thinking. Someone, a woman I'm almost certain, made the point that if Carmela allows her children to grow up from the proceeds of evil how much of a mother can she be? Every stitch they wear and every bite they ear has blood on it. Someone somewhere paid with their knee-caps, or worse. Does Carmela ever wonder how many people Tony has murdered? Yes, she agonises about leaving him from time to time but usually this is more about his affairs than the moral well being of her children. And she always goes back to him anyway.
Another thing, why do people seem to think that because someone loves their kids that somehow gives them a pass to do whatever they want? You shouldn't get brownie points simply because you love your kids, YOUR SUPPOSED to love your kids, for God' s sake.
On more than one occasion Camela is told to leave Tony, take her children and leave. The Jewish therapist she sees on this very point refuses to take her money and Carmela thinks he's just being nice. What he means is he WON'T take her blood-money and be party to what he is condemning her for.
That Carmela loves AJ and "Miss Meadow" unconditionally is not open for discussion. But is it not also true that she puts her own material well-being before the welfare of her children? I'm reminded or Kay in "The Godfather", she has an abortion rather than bring another child into Michaell's world of corruption and evil. I'm not saying for a minute she was right in doing this but it shows her moral outrage at the evil of her husband. I'd be interested in people's opinion on this as I think the role of Carmela is central to the entire show.

Re: Is Carmela really a good mother?

#2
dsweeney, I moved your thread to the Kitchen Sink forum as it appeared to be most appropriate for the subject matter.

I've noticed that you tend to start many of your threads in the "Symbolism and Subtext" forum. I know it's convenient because it's near the top of the home page, but it really should be reserved for subjects dealing with abstract matters (dream interpretations, the meaning of the bear in season 5, etc.). So just a polite reminder to consider the appropriate forum for threads before posting.:icon_wink:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Is Carmela really a good mother?

#4
dsweeney wrote:This question may appear to some to be a bit generic and not really worthy of much discussion. I deliberately phrased it from the assumption that she IS a good mother. I did this because I had always been of that general opinion and thought most people would be of a similar viewpoint.
However, I read something recently that got me thinking. Someone, a woman I'm almost certain, made the point that if Carmela allows her children to grow up from the proceeds of evil how much of a mother can she be? Every stitch they wear and every bite they ear has blood on it. Someone somewhere paid with their knee-caps, or worse. Does Carmela ever wonder how many people Tony has murdered? Yes, she agonises about leaving him from time to time but usually this is more about his affairs than the moral well being of her children. And she always goes back to him anyway.
Another thing, why do people seem to think that because someone loves their kids that somehow gives them a pass to do whatever they want? You shouldn't get brownie points simply because you love your kids, YOUR SUPPOSED to love your kids, for God' s sake.
On more than one occasion Camela is told to leave Tony, take her children and leave. The Jewish therapist she sees on this very point refuses to take her money and Carmela thinks he's just being nice. What he means is he WON'T take her blood-money and be party to what he is condemning her for.
That Carmela loves AJ and "Miss Meadow" unconditionally is not open for discussion. But is it not also true that she puts her own material well-being before the welfare of her children? I'm reminded or Kay in "The Godfather", she has an abortion rather than bring another child into Michaell's world of corruption and evil. I'm not saying for a minute she was right in doing this but it shows her moral outrage at the evil of her husband. I'd be interested in people's opinion on this as I think the role of Carmela is central to the entire show.

As for the role of Kay in GF, i do get tired of her portrayal as the victim of Michael Corleone and his family. LIke Carmela, she made direct choices, and didn't turn down the nice material life she got. ANd to kill her child and throw it in Michael's face the way she did, to me was despicable. She was no better than the people she claimed to have moral superiority over. imo, she was also the most mis-cast member of the whole GF trilogy. Her contrived role by the time of GF III was ridiculous.

And getting back to the Carmela comparison, maybe these woman justified that they needed to stay in the situation to better care for their children with more resources, etc., while really just not wanting to face the trauma involved with getting out. Its a hard thing to judge from the outside in real life, but since we're talking about a movie and a cable show here, it seems we have enough info to conclude that these women stayed in for mostly selfish reasons beyond "the love for their children". Obviously, Kay didn't love her last child with Michael....

Re: Is Carmela really a good mother?

#5
You referred to the trauma of Carmela trying to leave Tony and it could be argued in her defence that she does her utmost to do just that. But such is Tony's power and influence that nobody in the legal profession is brave enough (or foolish enough) to represent her in divorce proceedings. However, this doesn't fly for me. Carmela, with words from her own mouth, condemns herself saying she knew exactly what Tony was when they first got together. She knew he wasn't like other guys. She mentions something, to Dr. Melfi I assume, about Tony arriving at her house with an expensive set of tools for her father when they first started going out. She new the deal from day one. She brings children into a house paid for by death. Their father could be killed or sent to prison at any time. Or simply "Growing up Soprano; it's just plain weird". Something on those lines anyway.
One of my favourite bits of dialogue is between Carmela and Ro. Rosalii is warning Carmela about AJ not going in to see Tony in hospital, how he would never forgive himself and that he has been spoiled. Carmela appreciates the death of Jackie jr. but tells her not to lecture her on bringing up her kids. Ro fires back at her that's precisely why she's telling her not to spoil AJ, that she doesn't want him to end up like Jackie. It's a wonderful exchange which Carmela has no answer for. A slap in the face and a reminder of what she has exposed her children to.
If Carmela genuinely wanted to get her children safe from harm and away from Tony's world she could have. If she really wanted to. But the reality is, she has too much of a comfort zone. Much easier to block it all out and enjoy the good life while she can. She can square it with her maker further down the line and hope her kids come out unscathed.
Post Reply

Return to “The Kitchen Sink”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest