Sopranos-Apa Citation Book Report

Pages: 8 (2521 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Sociology

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

2002, p. 45)

The author asserts that in the real world, the "power elite," much like the fictional Tony Soprano, cause a great deal of collateral damage in their quest for financial success. From the Vietnam War to the Product Safety Board, the effects of the "power elite" have been felt by people the world over, including ordinary American citizens. Simon lists examples of thousands of Americans either being injured or killed each year as a matter of economic convenience for the corporations. (Simon, 2002, pp. 45-47)

Tony Soprano may cause physical harm to untold numbers of people, but he also causes a great deal of financial harm as well. Whether it's the stolen credit card he uses to check into a hotel, or the cut rate calling cards he sells on the street, the economic harm caused by Tony Soprano ends up effecting everyone in society. Likewise, while the financial mis-dealings of the corporations and their political allies also have far reaching consequences which effect all Americans. The author spends much time discussing the ENRON scandal which defrauded thousands of Americans out of their life savings while making millions for company's executives. This is an excellent example of how the "power elite" in America operate, through corporations protected by politicians who get large donations in exchange for this protection.

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Simon discussed in detail the political connections between ENRON and many Washington insiders, one example in particular was between CEO Kenneth Lay and Vice President Dick Cheney. The Author stated that Lay "met privately with Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001 when Cheney led the National Energy Policy Development Group…." (Simon, 2002, p. 52) This coziness between the Vice President and the CEO of ENRON gave the company's executives the political cover to inflate the price of the company's stock through false reports, then sell off millions of their own personal shares while the price was high. These actions left the average stockholder, the average American with a 401k or other type of retirement package, to lose their retirement savings. Thousands of ordinary Americans all over the country lost much of their money, while the company's executives made millions.

TOPIC: Book Report on Sopranos-Apa Citation the Sopranos and Assignment

It is not only physical or economic damage that people like Tony Soprano cause to society, they also cause a certain amount of moral damage as well. But when Tony is asked in the series about who deserves to go to hell, he answers "only the very worst people deserve it- bloodthirsty dictators and child murders." (Simon, 2002, p. 54) This is an easy way for those who perform immoral acts to justify their actions, after all they can always point to something worse. And like Tony, many members of modern society use this as a justification for their "little crimes." Simon points out that over the past few decades the average American has been getting poorer, while the very richest in society continue to accumulate wealth. And the inequities are not only economic, but economically tied to gender and race. (Simon, 2002, p. 56) In other words, as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, women and minorities are getting even poorer than the average poor person.

This type of inequity in society can be traced directly to the actions of the "power elite" in this country and their political allies. It also serves as an inspiration to some in America to imitate this behavior and code of morals in their daily life. Tony Soprano is a fictional example of the type of behaviors which many in America see as their ticket to success. Therefore, many can justify their criminal behavior by claiming everyone successful, like the "power elite," do it; or that there are worse crimes in the world than what they want to do. The author asserts that this type of morality in the real world is being represented through the fictional characters in the Sopranos, that Tony represents the new moral code emerging in American society. While it is true that America has always had a fascination with the rebellious, against the system, criminal type; this fascination has always been from a distance, the distance between the medium of entertainment and the real world. People like watching, imagining, or fantasizing about fictional criminals, but in the real world they want law and order. While many criminals have been glorified in the movies and on television, there is not one real-life glorified criminal sitting in a prison somewhere with legions of fans. And while ordinary Americans may cheat on their taxes, or buy something that "fell off a truck," not too many are actually willing to do the deed, to actually steal something, or even kill someone.

The Soprano moral code leads inevitable to a "survival of the strongest" type of society where the weak are victimized by the strong like Tony. We see this happening at the highest levels of corporate America and Washington D.C., and the effects are ruinous to ordinary Americans. This type of morality, while it may be effective at benefiting the one employing it to govern his actions, causes a great deal of harm to many more people in society. If this type of morality is allowed to govern society, individuals will employ any behavior necessary to get what they want, regardless of the consequences. While this may seem a bright prospect to someone willing to harm, steal, and even kill; it is not something the average American, the person who will be harmed, stolen from, or even killed, should tolerate. Society must have rules based on some sense of what is right and wrong for the majority of society. Rules cannot be in place for the benefit of a few at the expense of the many. The Average American must be protected from predators like Tony Soprano, therefore laws are there for just such a purpose, and if they are broken, for the good of everyone in society, the person breaking the law must be punished. Therefore the moral code expressed by the "power elite" and represented by the character of Tony Soprano is unacceptable to any member of a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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