Symbolism of Ducks, Oranges & Eggs connected to the Hunchbac

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

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.

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

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 crown of "Our Lady" (term for Blessed Virgin Mary) symbolized thru a scene that includes Brokeback Vito?

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!


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....

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")

In case anyone thinks i may have stretched it too far with the siginificance of the huncback 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...

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 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.

Re: Symbolism of Ducks, Oranges & Eggs connected to the Hunc

badabellisima, I'm really just now reading this post carefully, as it came at a time when I was just too busy to spend much time at the forum.

You uncover some interesting coincidences, and I quite agree that the passage you quoted from Hunchback of Notre Dame has to figure in the inspiration for the title of the ep. Also very interesting observation re Vito and the Notre Dame cap. Some food for thought when I next view Cold Stones.

Re: Symbolism of Ducks, Oranges & Eggs connected to the Hunc

crederer wrote:Dude, get a life, over analyze much?
crederer, you're new, so I'll give you the courtesy of a warning. Please read the rules of conduct and posting guidelines at the top of every forum. Demeaning or personally critical commentary towards fellow posters, particularly when totally unprovoked, is not welcome here. Please adhere to those guidelines in the future.


Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Symbolism of Ducks, Oranges & Eggs connected to the Hunc


I must apologize that I never got around to reading your post. It looks very thought provoking and I hope to be able to get to it some day.

In the meantime ...

Just a small correction in case you ever plan to rework it or submit it elsewhere. When you wrote:

But you also got your quarterback and your headback of Notre Dame".

It should read:

But you also got your quarterback and your halfback of Notre Dame".
Post Reply

Return to “Sopranos Symbolism and Subtext”