La Tanja Bolden
ENG 1101 online
22 July 2011
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
Murder, Inc., La Cosa Nostra, The Family. These words invoke visions of Tommy-guns, pinstriped suits, black and white spatted shoes and Edward G. Robinson. Old fashioned mobsters and gun-toting molls are some of my favorite silver screen characters. Fast forward to modern day and enter stage left, Anthony John Soprano, Sr. Tony Soprano is the modern fictional face of the Mafia; he is viewed as the quintessential gentleman mobster; a man we love to hate. This thesis revolves around what makes the character so compelling and why we loved to hate him. On January 10, 1999, the veil was lifted and America was invited into the lives of Tony Soprano, his family and cohorts. For 86 weeks Americans took weekly forays into the mysterious and often violent underworld of gangsters, mob bosses and made men. Viewers had a front row seat into the life of one of the most compelling and complex characters ever to hit the small screen. Rich, powerful, admired, hated and feared simultaneously; Tony Soprano was a television phenomenon. He is unapologetic about his excesses and vices and the fact that he is only looking out for only himself. Whether his actions benefit another individual is purely coincidental and never a concern or motivation for his behavior; nor is it a reason to behave in a civilized manner. That raw materialism and selfishness is what makes this character one that we all know lives inside of us if we allowed ourselves the guilty pleasure of total self indulgence. Because we love to hate what we can not have, it is a fair assessment that the dislike of Tony Soprano stems more from jealous envy rather than true hatred. Tony possesses material wealth and regularly enjoys the attention of beautiful women in addition to his devoted wife. He commands respect from his peers, although it is often garnered through intimidation and fear. He possesses all that we...
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