The Cold Stones

Having watched the episode a second time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the “cold stones” of the title are the sculptures that speak to Carmella in her heightened/altered state of consciousness.

1. The Conch. The first “cold stone” that Carmella gazes on is that of a maiden listening to the sound of the wind blowing through the hollow of a conch. As a Christian symbol, the sound of the conch calls the faithful to make a pilgrimage; as a Buddhist symbol, it represents the crashing waves of wakefulness that jar the spiritually torpid from their sleep. It is time for Carmella to wake from the sleep of denial. Tony no longer hears the wind of egolessness that stirred him from the sleep of death.

2. Ecce Homo. The second cold stone is that of Christ scourged. Pilate has Jesus whipped and presented to a jeering crowd. “Ecce homo!” “Here is the man!” Your bloodied, pathetic messiah, Pilate mocks. The series' theme song tells us that Tony is the “chosen one”, an anti-messianic figure. What has he been chosen for: an ignominious death? Or the nightmare slumber of a sociopath?

3. Madonna & Christ Child. The maternal archetype. Notice that Carmella is wearing mauve, the colour of mourning, in St. Eustace. Is this her lament for her doomed son, AJ?

4. The Judges. Carmella then passes by the busts of seven kings. In the Judeo-Christian cosmos the number seven symbolizes perfection; the image of the king represents the wise judge and ruler. What judgment will this inner court pass on Carmella Soprano and her family?

5. The Smiling Maiden. Waiting for Roe, Carmella snaps a picture of a neon pig (Satriale’s with glitter and panache!), and then looks up at the sculpture of a smiling maiden. Looking down on Carmella, the maiden appears to be a merciful protector who will see Carmella through the hobs of Hell.

All the while, the Eiffel Tower (the Costa Mesa airport in reverse) shines its light, the beacon that calls Carmella home to Jersey, to death in some form, and, maybe, to rebirth.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... vellino</A> at: 5/24/06 5:54 am

Re: The Cold Stones

i agree with everything you are saying, but also took it to mean the 2 deaths scenes we witnessed...phil specifically saying how we should keep the funeral only immediate i took agreed totally about all the carm stuff, but also would say it could have to do with 2 impending "cold stones" or funerals/ dead made men and the repucusions of that...also a foreshadowing that more are to die based on the inevitable ny/nj bloodshed

sorry for the incoherrent ramblings...i will try to edit

and would say i am loving your topic! woo-hoo<img src= ALT=":D">

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... aforbin</A> at: 5/23/06 11:06 pm

Re: The Cold Stones

Avellino, once again, you floor me. Great post! This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for in the thread about the Paris trip, an identification and analysis of the various sculptures that kept Carmela so rapt.

On #1, I had no idea of the theological symbolism you identified. That makes it much more significant than just the (false) myth of hearing the sound of the ocean in a seashell.

On #2, I don't recall Livia ever telling Tony he was "chosen" for anything. But the "Woke Up This Morning" lyric states "Your mama always said you'd be the chosen one." I'm inclined to think Carm was just viewing this one as a depiction of the sacrifice of her personal savior since, no matter her hypocrisy, she believes Christ is the son of God and her redeemer.

On #5, can you help decipher the name of the store above which the maiden head looms? For the life of me, I can't make out the script, and I think it might be useful to know. No one could help in the other thread.

You exhibit such a broad knowledge of theology. Do you mind if I ask whether that's vocational or just the result of being very well-read?


Re: The Cold Stones

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Fly, the store is the cosmetics company Guerlain.
Edit: I'm working on details and location of the store.
Edited by: Pork Store at: 5/24/06 7:28 am<hr></blockquote>

The store is La Maison Guerlain at 68 avenue Champs-Elysees

"Everything happens for a reason"</p>

Re: The Cold Stones

Avellino, yes, absolutely the statuary, yet with such dichotomous meaning for Rosalie and Carm. For Rosalie, the well-intended but rather limited tourist, they are "Cold Stones;" for Carm mini epiphanies.

Madonna and Christ Child: This piece felt hopeful to me in its iconic symbolism. As you note, we see Madonna with Christ Child as opposed to Mary with the body of her son post crucifixion (a la Pieta'). It felt to me that this emotive experience fostered a hope for rapprochement, reconciled attachment, for Carmela with her own son.

Satriale's pig vs. Parisian pig: The contrast of the two swine felt to simply yet emphatically serve to contrast Carmela's real (Satriale-like) life vs. the potential that she now feels through the elan of bistro piggy. Again, a simple iconic contrast between what is and what could be or could have been.

Guerlain Cherub: Was this Camrmela's protective steward or maybe her alter?

Eiffel Tower and Beacon: Instruments of Light, Self-Knowledge, Going into the Light of One's Own Truth. I am cautious, however, in that the writers present characters' breakthrough experiences from time to time...only to have them ultimately revert: "I'm doing a load of laundry; do you have any darks..."

Edited for spelling.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... vingEgo</A> at: 5/24/06 9:38 am
Post Reply

Return to “Episode 6.11: Cold Stones”