Sopranos as allegory for state of the world affairs

#1
I have been reading a lot of these "meanings" threads, along with some interviews / articles about the show.

I am quite surprised most of the intended subliminal messages people are seeing is to do with spiritualism (religions: buddhism, catholicism, etc) and inner reflection... because the way I see it, if Tony represents Power and the Sopranos being an allegory I would put my chips in with having something to do with the direction of the planet and the directionless/ugliness of human behavior in it. The fact that David Chase mentions that there is a lot more going on in the world that people devote NO attention to, is another factor that makes me think this might be a deliberate avenue.

In a great quote of Season 1 Tony basically says "We Are The Romans" = The Empire = The USA as a superpower on the world stage.

When Christ (Moltisanti) dies, at the ends of a Roman, this might be no coincidence. Tony's own struggle to balance the good within himself and the despicable acts demanded by greed, self-preservation or whatever else - also represent different factions and forces of good and evil within a country, the USA. A country with a large basis of religious fanaticism and a broad cultural heritage of a religious belief based on Forgiveness and Love, yet a country able to do the most despicable acts in the name of Greed and Power. This Hypocrisy is mirrored in Tony's way of life and behavior (compulsive lying, etc).

There is a theme of the passing down of the mafia heritage, in the longstanding tradition of the films in the genre, like the final scene in The Godfather, Kay's condemnation of this self-replicating behavior patterns is the same moral standpoint Chase offers us as an overall conclusion for the Series run. However, this loop of murderous revenge is being seen as something coming out of Mediterranean medieval times, I would say it is more a pre-christianic Semitic cultural heritage (since Sicily has been quite isolated and not permeable to outside influences for centuries - sure, The Mafia has an institution started in the 19th century, but the cultural background from which it stems had been there for ages before it). Because, considering Christianity has a message of Forgiveness and Love, the moral codes and oaths of the Mafia are in clear defiance. Yet again, the theme of Light and Darkness.

In A.J.'s path there are moments when he becomes 'awake' and paying more attention to the world that surrounds us (whether or not he goes about it in a balanced way is another discussion) instead of indulging in the consumerist/materialistic slumber his parents lifestyle offer him, but ironically this is seen as sign of lunacy and High Risk (Tony frowns upon it). The same dismissive way in real life people are treated when they talk and pay attention to what is really going on: The Corruption of factions within Government (Boardwalk Empire wink wink), the Financial Scandals, rife Environmental Degradation, the emptiness of the so-called culture & America Way of Life, etc

Curiously, early on apropos A.J.'s delving into philosophy Tony's reaction is something like "The Boy is unto something", but by Season 6 Tony is so engrained in his own role he doesn't stop one minute to think, in fact he encourages his son to follow on his steps: pushes him to go out socially with petty criminals & 'finds' him jobs under associates of his. In a way, Tony's slumber reflects America's state of political affairs, 2 parties that come with the same answers and course of action and a self-destructive behavior imposed on those around (Consumerism, Pollution, Greed) that ultimately brings everyone down.

That's just my 2 cents.


PS: The GF itself is already overrun with themes of Imperialism & Corporatization. So this interpretation wouldn't be anything new. I guess the mafia milieu is quite appropriate to depict extreme human behavior.

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