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Sopranos along with the Perpetuated Mafiosi Picture Essay

Assignment id 1004381
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 2353
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The Sopranos and the Perpetuated Mafiosi Picture A life of organized crime, fancy cars, machine guns, amazing ladies, cash, power and household; all these are the images which have perpetuated the associations of Italian-Americans together with the Mafia in television and film for years. It's in this traditional Godfather fashion that the HBO hit show The Sopranos continues to perpetuate this stereotypical image into the 21st century. From classic movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas, to miniseries events such as Bella Mafia and The Last Don, to the dramatic series The Sopranos, Italian-Americans have traditionally been depicted as gangsters and mobsters and have been observed living the lifestyles of organized criminals. Italian-Americans and the Mafia have traditionally been linked in popular culture and The Sopranos isn't any exclusion. "It is undeniable that the prominent pop-culture pictures of Italian-Americans have been the mobster and the associated, anti-working course stereotype of the boorish gavone" (De Stefano 32). Textually, Tony Soprano is only this. He is an Italian-American, living in a suburban New Jersey town, the mind of the regional Mafia family. He's anything but working class, as he is portrayed as the mobster coping with "business." He is involved in murders, blackmail, illegal gambling and racketeering. Inter-textually, there are frequent references to Mafia popular culture. Tony and his group regularly recite lines from The Godfather and consult with each other as "Donnie Brasco." Tony's relationship with his therapist broadcasts that of the satiric Mafia film, Read This and remarks are made to that effect. All these inter-textual references draw focus to the traditional Mafia portrayals in film and tv and acknowledge the existence of this stereotypical depiction of Italian-Americans in social networking. The producers of The Sopranos go as far as to include comedic extra-textual references, drawing upon the social opinion of cultural stereotyping. When Tony's therapist and her family make a toast over dinner into the "20 million Italian-Americans" who have nothing to do with organized crime, we find here a representation of the resistance by Italian-Americans into the Mafia-stereotype. Sub-textually, the covert commentary within the series runs deep. Running between the traces are sub-plots dealing with household val...

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