Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#41
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:You know, this is one of those things that may not have been intentional by the writers, where their subconscious was smarter than their conscious. That is an exquisite metaphor you pointed out re the stone mason heritage. I love it.


I must say you really gave me a whole new perspective with your posts. Made me reconsider some of the stuff I have concluded.

Personally I think it was intentional. When I saw it the first time
it seemed like a very odd choice to commit suicide by drawning
in a swimming pool. Thinking about it a bit more it is a touching
and astounishing metaphor.

The brick connected with a very long rope=the connection goes way back to the old country.

The brick = heavy and simple like a you can imagine a stone mason.

The brick on the ground of the pool. = a symbol of Tony´s grandfather
on the ground of one of the symbols of Tony´s succees and one of the major elements of the home of his family. Telling you despite
everything how huge the influence the past is on the present.

The brick dragging AJ down, just like Tony was dragged down
by his relatives.

What a great foreshadowing of Tony cutting finally the connection
with his father in later episodes when he got it as you so demonstrated.

And wasn´t the show at its heart getting over with the family problems?

Dumping the asbestos?

One more thing, "mother are like buses", fathers are about cars. Tony lets
Chris drive, Chris dies in a car and isn´t it the first time we see AJ driving
a car alone in the last epiosde after his car cuaght fire? He comes alone
to the diner and I have a notch Meadows parking attempts could have some
connection to it.

I love this show:icon_biggrin:

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#42
Another puzzle piece. Episode "The second coming"

The song played to the credits is an old italian folk song.

A guy translated it on youtube saying it says::

Look how beautiful my son is he looks just like his father his eyes are those of an outlaw his heart is as pure as his mother's listen carefully to what I have to say dearest son you've been born an orphan they murdered your father with betrayal and malice you must grow up you must grow quickly and become skilled at using weapons and knives you must preserve your family's honor son you must avenge you father's murder please forgive me for these words.

But I am at an utter loss kill the hatred that I carry in my heart son you must avenge your father's murder and now sleep well go to sleep.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_vSFKXn8jA

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#45
Once again I applaud you for your brilliant posts FOMW.

I almost agree with everything you said. Overall you conclusion is absolutely convincing. Hopefully not all of my remarks will be redundant.

Oh boy, did Chase&Co. feature the father and son theme throughout season six. Starting with Member´s only and Tony almost getting killed, but also with Eugene´s suicide which is overshadowed by the event in Junior´s house. The ending of Member´s only can be understood as a father (Junior) killing his son (Tony) while a father kills himself (Eugene) to save his son. Of course it´s not enough to have subtext on “The Sopranos”, it has to have sub subtext and sub-sub-sub-text.

Tony as boss, or father of the mob family has to approve of Eugene plans who like a child has to ask for permission to go away. Eugene´s wife says something like “put a bullet in his head”, but Eugene can´t. He can´t kill his father. Of course Tony isn´t Eugene´s biological father. Yet Tony is the patriarch of the mob family. Organized crime is organized like a patriarchic family. I don´t think this needs to be explained any further, just wanna add that Chris avoiding the mob´s lifestyle gets very well along with his sober view about his father.

He´s indeed the key figure when it comes to direct verbalization and portrayal of the permanent struggle between fathers and sons. His relationship with Tony oscillating between “fat fuck”, “this is the man I go for hell for” and “I love you” culminates in one of the most painful scenes in the entire history of the show. Can it be a coincident that Chris tries to break free from his father figure through the movie business, articulating his feelings through a narrative on a screen like a certain genius probably did by “chasing it” for over 10 years?


“Remember when” couldn´t be clearer with the Junior (Junior calling Carter “Anthony”) becomes Carter´s surrogate father storyline. Basically, one can imagine Tony`s exactly feeling the same towards Junior in his younger years. This is of course with the pic emphasized, folded between Johnny and Junior, and the realization of Tony how much he despises Paulie. On a funny note, Paulie is extremely childish in his behaviour: the laughing, the joking, the begging for Tony´s approval and attention in general. “It didn´t occure to me” Tony´s best line in the episode.

You quoted the scene where Tony is speechless since Chris teels him “my dad, your hero. He wasn´t much more than a fuckin´ junky”. So, when Tony kills Chris, besides the cleaver, the child in the carseat, Tony is also confronted with Chris as “fuckin` junky”, as Dickie Moltesanti. In this moment, what was build up so carefully through the relationship between Tony and his present sons and past fathers and hammered into T´s subconscious, culminates.

Did he say in Vegas he´s dead or did he maybe say he´s dad.



The lyrics of “comfortably numb” describe exactly what happens in the desert: “a fleeting glimpse”, “the child is grown” and later Tony “cannot put the finger on it” when asked about it.

I read on the other thread that you were disappointed with the closure, and you said here the long journey ultimately took us nowhere.

Though I can understand the reasoning behind it I tend to disagree. I already mentioned AJ´s suicide attempt and the metaphorical meaning. However we look at Tony he is a much better father to AJ than Johnnyboy to him or any other father figure. He was headed down the same road, projecting his wishes and failed aspirations on AJ when AJ played football, or when he came up with the idea of military school where boys are educated to become disciplined men. He was confronted with the fact that his son is a week coward, a disgrace for a man of Tony´s nature and position, but he showed support for his kid. I doubt the Tony from the pilot would have been able to do the same. But of course that´s just a wild speculation on my part except for threatening to kill his son Chris in the pilot if he chooses the movie biz while his son AJ enters the same biz in the very last episode.

I can only speak for me, I wouldn´t describe the destination as nowhere only because the main character might not have changed, I think after such a long journey no one can have the same view as in the beginning of the journey. At least when it comes to television.

Before I forget, Al Molinari was the actor who played the owner of a diner called “Arnold´s” on the show “Happy days”. Does that ring any bells?:icon_mrgreen:

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#46
Corrado wrote:I read on the other thread that you were disappointed with the closure, and you said here the long journey ultimately took us nowhere.

Though I can understand the reasoning behind it I tend to disagree. I already mentioned AJ´s suicide attempt and the metaphorical meaning. However we look at Tony he is a much better father to AJ than Johnnyboy to him or any other father figure. He was headed down the same road, projecting his wishes and failed aspirations on AJ when AJ played football, or when he came up with the idea of military school where boys are educated to become disciplined men. He was confronted with the fact that his son is a week coward, a disgrace for a man of Tony´s nature and position, but he showed support for his kid. I doubt the Tony from the pilot would have been able to do the same. But of course that´s just a wild speculation on my part except for threatening to kill his son Chris in the pilot if he chooses the movie biz while his son AJ enters the same biz in the very last episode.

I can only speak for me, I wouldn´t describe the destination as nowhere only because the main character might not have changed, I think after such a long journey no one can have the same view as in the beginning of the journey. At least when it comes to television.


My feelings in the days and even first few months after the finale were all over the place, unsettled. I was "psyching myself out" a lot to try to make myself like and accept the way things ended, but the handwriting was on the wall with Kennedy and Heidi. Tony would not only experience no true (lasting) introspection, insight, or spiritual growth, he would commit what amounted to ostensibly the worst act of betrayal of his life just four episodes from the end of the series. Since I was obsessed with Tony finding some kind of moral or spiritual redemption, and especially since I felt we were mercilessly teased, via the coma dream/NDE, with prospect that it was coming, I couldn't help but feel enormously let down.

I acknowledged your point, though, many times, which is that Tony's only real moral triumph in the series is the kind of father he was, especially towards AJ since that's where the real challenge lay for him. I tend to disagree that the Tony of season 1 was somehow different/lesser as a father to AJ than he was later. I actually see the things you cited (his excitement over AJ's brief football success, the military school thing) as evidence of how desperately Tony wanted to see AJ develop in some way that could validate him in the violent, masculine mob culture that unavoidably shaped AJ's values (by the simple fact that they were his father's values) but that achieved that validation in a morally legitimate way.

Tony was plagued from the very beginning by notions of what his mere life's example might mean for and to his son. And those fears were galvanized in a new way when he saw what happened to Jackie Jr., a mob boss' kid living a privileged, suburban life, coddled by his mother, showing high school football prowess that was ultimately meaningless because it would not translate into a career, intentionally excluded by his father from mob life in favor of a mainstream academic path to a vocation, despite the fact that he lacked the intellect and/or discipline to succeed in that mainstream path. The fact that Jackie Jr. was destined to fail in the life towards which his father (and later Tony) was pushing him led him to try to crash the gates on the world of his father anyway, to become a man like him despite the fact that his father did not consciously or outwardly want that. If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, it's clear why a son naturally driven to win a sense of validation and approval from his father would turn to imitation when fulfilling the father's express desires didn't seem possible.

Military school was Tony's last ditch effort to surround AJ with a different kind of male role model before it was too late, role models for whom the strictest discipline was a way of life and whose culture was socially legitimate, even prestigious, yet undeniably tough and masculine. Tony instinctively knew from his own life that the need to fulfill a father's value system, to be a son of which the father could be proud, is a major factor in shaping a son's own values and motivations. By pushing AJ towards a culture that was both masculine (sometimes violently so) and legitimate, he was trying to give AJ a way to both please his father and conform to a socially acceptable culture of masculinity. I actually think this act by Tony was very much unselfish, done because he felt on an intuitive level that it would ultimately serve AJ well.

Ironically, I think Tony had the right idea. I think had AJ not had the panic attack and had gone to military school, he would have turned out "better" than he did. I think he would ultimately have cultivated a decent work ethic and would have enjoyed a higher degree of self esteem, which would have served him well no matter what happened after military school ended.

Back to my feelings on the journey to nowhere. As time went on and I allowed myself to fully ruminate about the vicarious patricidal angle to Christopher's murder, and began to see foreshadowing of it going all the way back to the Test Dream, I became more and more comfortable accepting what Chase was telling me about this man, that he cannot, will not meaningfully change -- ever -- but that he also never got over the way he was inculcated into a life of brutality by his father and uncle while his mother sat back and let it happen. There is a perverse moral rebellion or outrage in Tony's symbolically killing his father, and I learned to take my satisfaction in knowing that, at least, Tony was never truly at peace with what he did with his life.

Before I forget, Al Molinari was the actor who played the owner of a diner called “Arnold´s” on the show “Happy days”. Does that ring any bells?:icon_mrgreen:
The Molinari family on the coast guaranteed Fredo's safety, too.:icon_mrgreen:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#47
My issue with finding the thematic resolution to Tony's story the 4th to last or 3rd to last episode is... what's the point of the last couple? Exciting but superfluous drama? With patricidal aggression so central to the series, and final season particularly, it seems an underestimation of Chase to not think he'd follow through with it and other major themes to the end of show. Isn't a song in B likely to end on B? And on that note... some possible examples of the center cannot hold. Sorry if someone's pointed it out already...

The roulette ball's broken orbit that precedes "He's dead."
The same of the Blue Comet model train as Bobby dies.
In retrospect, maybe that rhymes with Chris's running off the road before his murder.
Transfat free onion ring?

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#48
I have visited TCL in about 2 years, but I felt inclined to respond to this.

Fly, you are simply amazing! You have created a framework of understanding for the end of this series (nay--the entire arc of the series) that I have been craving for since it ended. So many things make such perfect sense.

Thank you.
A little powdered sugar and he woulda been done!

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#49
Corrado wrote:Sorry, I have to ask you, since I am pretty new to this site.

Is your post ironic?:icon_question:


Not really sure what you mean by ironic. Can you explain your question a bit more- i mean, what don't you understand about the connection that i see as subtle but powerful?

i elaborated on my take on the meaning of the title to the episode Cold Stones elsewhere (see below link), and its deep and powerful connection to the past and the father-son relationship, but meaning more the Father-Son relationship as in God/Creator and Son/the created One, as well as the Godfather and Godson relationship, such as expressed between Vito (supplicating himself as Godson) to Tony the Godfather, when Vito begs to come back into the Family while they visit at the mall. Now that i compare my old thoughts on this theme with Fly's patricide theme, it's all coming together even more, imho. Tony as Godfather to Christopher, and excercising his "right" to kill him; or by killing him, further cementing his position as Godfather to him, at least in his own mind. Above the law, above reproach, can kill with impunity per their internal code. Patricide without guilt or penalty.

i think your observation of another appearance of an actual, literal "cold" stone (the cold, wet brick and all it symbolizes) really ties up some loose ends and magnifies the significance of the intended symbolism.

imo, AJ attempting to sacrifice (kill) himself on the wet altar of the Cold Stone was an attempt to kill the father within him, or hurt the father outside of him. And in any event, be free of the father and so then know his father for the first time. A sort of self-patricide.

Here is my old post connecting the Cold Stones of the Hunchback of Notre Dame to the episode Cold Stones:


http://www.thechaselounge.net/showthread.php?t=1165&highlight=cold+stones+hunchback+notre+dame


Symbolism of Ducks, Oranges & Eggs connected to the demise of Vito and the Hunchback of Notre Dame :

While the off-season lazy days of summer drag on, is anyone still interested in this theme of Oranges 'n Eggs foretelling the death or misfortune about to befall someone? ? I noticed a little piece of info from Wikipedia that resolved an open question that came up back in "general topics" for Season 6a Kaisha. I don't know how- or if i'm even able- to move a post to a different thread, so i am copying a couple of my posts' texts to clarify my Oranges 'n Eggs (and Ducks) questions:

Episode 6.12: Kaisha
Episode Review and General Comments, June 9th

[font=Arial]RE: Carmella and Ro eating Duck Egg and Fennel (gay) dishes in French Restaurant:

First, Carm and Ro ate the Foie Gras (made from Duck livers in controversial inhumane practice of force-feeding and overstuffing live ducks). And as mentioned elswhere, the next main meal also had "fenuil" or fennel, which is the equivalent of the italian word for fennel ("feneuch") which is the slang term for homosexual that has been used extensively this season. per wikipedia- Sweet fennel, or finocchio- in literature and legend is a symbol of flattery, a remedy for failing eyesight (remember Philly's tailor going blind?), and an aphrodisiac.A "fanook" as Phil Leotard says, is a gay man.

I'm pretty sure that back in Paris, Carm was served a meal of Duck in a citrus sauce in some sort of egg or eggshell and Fennel-as part of it (eggs & oranges again)-- i was hoping someone fluent in french would rewind that part of the french waiter's food description. Interesting how when Tony analyzes his various duck or other waterfowl experiences with Melfi, they come up with some positive understanding, and the bird experiences tend to help Tony find meaning to his life. Even if Tony resists it, he's willing to let Melfi try to use the symbols to illustrate a point or get Tony to reflect on his life for the good. When Christopher has bird/penguin experiences, they are usually foreboding and negative, and C goes right for the "superstitious" (per Kelli) interpretation-- except at the beginning when Christopher mentions getting a visit from the stork. Now its like he's afraid of the stork, counting chickens, etc.
[/font]

Episode 6.12: Kaisha
Episode Review and General Comments, June 12th: [color=royalblue]More on eating duck-eggs: cannabalistic act on part of Carm?[/color]

Per my previous post-- given that the duck symbolism throughout this whole series is so important as a representation of family, etc., the fact that Carm and Ro were so blatantly eating duck couldn't be insignificant. Some female creatures in nature will eat their own offspring for survival. But when Livia was willing to kill off her own son for her personal benefit- it was a pretty creepy thought. And eating fennel- was it a symbol of the Soprano family metaphorically serving up (finnochio)Vito for lunch? Whether the ducks represent members of Tony's biological family or his mob family, they are considered fair game to be used to support a lifestyle that includes stacks of cash to be spent on a vacation in France. Vito was only worthy of protection as Best Earner until he interfered with the no-show jobs. Interesting that Tony wanted to protect and harbor the ducks, while Carm consumes them. Carm never did seem to be too sympathetic with Tony's soft spot for the ducks. No pets in the Soprano household.

Info found on Wikipedia that sheds light on this:

"In Paris, the restaurant where Rosalie and Carmela have dinner is Le Grand Véfour. The waiter's French descriptions are not subtitled; Rosalie is served filet of lamb in a garlic crust, while Carmela is served duck cooked in its own skin, with a jus of lemon-tree honey and fennel".


--- So it seems to me that while Vito was back in the USA preparing for his swan song, Ro was dining on the sacrificial lamb and Carm was indeed having the Hunchback of Notre Dame tethered to the Cold Stones of the altar.

(see my Trivia Game posts of around August 1st over in Kitchen Sink, re-cap follows:)

Original Trivia Question:

How is the significance of the [B]crown of "Our Lady" (term for Blessed Virgin Mary) symbolized thru a scene that includes Brokeback Vito?[/B]

Answer: (from Season Six- Cold Stones episode: Vito wears a Notre Dame cap when he shows up to contact Tony at the Mall...)



...Yes, Notre Dame is french for "Our Lady", the namesake of the great University of Notre Dame. And Yes, the answer is the scene where Brokeback Vito suddenly shows up at the mall like a Marian apparition appearing before Tony: Supplicating himself (imperfectly) before the godfather with admission of his (gay) status, even though blaming his gayness on his bloodpressure medication. Submitting himself to the "father's" will and mercy while begging permission to be let back in the fold, yet standing before him with the truthful crown, brand and label of The Lady of the family! Offering payment/bribe-repentance with humility. And willing to accept whatever the godfather deigned to dish out. Let it be done unto me according to thy will, wearing the cap-crown of Our Lady.

And throughout the season there was an ongoing subtheme, discussed much in other forums, of the winning Notre Dame football season and the incredible game with Michigan that figured earlier in the season (even though they lost the Fiesta Bowl in January). When Vito showed up at the mall with the Notre Dam cap on, i'm sure it resonated strongly with many Notre Dame fans out there. When i saw it, (and already knew immediately that it also meant "Our Lady")-- i howled!

Image


And regarding the hints about the Paris trip and Napoleanic painting-- well- while all this was going on with Vito, about the same timeframe, Carm and Ro were in Paris and there was a scene which showed the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the background. The painting i referred to is by Jacques-Louis David and shows the Coronation of Napolean (crowning first himself as Emperor, then Josephine as Empress while saluting the Romans) which takes place before the Pope in Notre Dame Cathedral.

BTW and speaking of French crowns/caps-- wasn't that the weirdest thing what with Tony's french beret at the end of 6A? hmmm....
Image

And finally, regarding the hint concerning Bobby and Tony's exchange about a man with a disability-- here is a re-cap (pls excuse the pun!) of the very funny dialogue, also discussed quite alot in other forums/threads:

Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri: The world really went downhill, since 9/11. You know, Quasimodo predicted all of this.

Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: Who did what?

Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri: You know, the middle east. The end of the world.

Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: Nostradamus. Quasimodo's the hunchback of Notre Dame.

Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri: Oh, right. Notredamus.

Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: Nostradamus and Notre Dame, that's two things different completely.

Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri: It's interesting that they'd be so similar, though. You know, I always thought "Ok, you got the hunchback of Notre Dame. But you also got your quarterback and your halfback of Notre Dame".

Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: Notre Dame's a fucking cathedral!

Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri: Obviously, I know. I'm just saying. It's interesting, the coincidences. What, you're gonna tell me you never pondered that?

Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: No!

So it seems there really is an on-going French, Notre Dame and Coincidences theme within the Sopranos, even moreso than i realized. i thought up the trivia question within two minutes of winning the game, then later had to dig around to come up with hints- later discovering there was more to it than i knew at first.

Interesting that while at The Bing (one sort of sanctuary some might call it)- Paulie saw the real "Our Lady" so-to-speak. And in a different sanctuary, Tony saw another "Our Lady" : in the secular cathedral of capitalism: The Mall!


And finally, (ties into origin of episode title of "Cold Stones")

[color=royalblue]In case anyone thinks i may have stretched it too far with the siginificance of the hunchback of NOTRE DAME theme-- look what i have just discovered! Finally some more light on the meaning of the title of this episode. I am sure others have probably made this connection- but this is the first i have noticed it in connection with the Vito/Carm parallels, etc. Can't be a coincidence...[/color]


[color=royalblue]THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
A monologue from the novel by Victor Hugo

(Priest’s Dialogue)

PRIEST: Do not interrupt me. Yes, I was happy, at least I believed myself to be so. I was pure, my soul was filled with limpid light. No head was raised more proudly and more radiantly than mine. Priests consulted me on chastity; doctors, on doctrines. Yes, science was all in all to me; it was a sister to me, and a sister sufficed. Not but that with age other ideas came to me. More than once my flesh had been moved as a woman's form passed by. That force of sex and blood which, in the madness of youth, I had imagined that I had stifled forever had, more than once, convulsively raised the chain of iron vows which bind me, a miserable wretch, to the [size=134]cold stones of the altar. But fasting, prayer, study, the mortifications of the cloister, rendered my soul mistress of my body once more, and then I avoided women.[/SIZE][/color]

Re: Tony’s Vicarious Patricide

#50
Badabellisima, because of the "oh so" I wondered if you meant it in
an ironic way. Thanks for clarifying. I get it.:icon_razz:

Your post is very interesting.

I understand the suicide attempt as I described. The depresion inherted by AJ from Tony who inherited it from Johnnyboy who inherited it from his father
passed over generations resulting in the suicide attempt.

Fasnicating stuff about the ducks. I have to think about that a little more,
the Hugo quote in particular.

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