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Freudian Dream Analysis Of An Episode Of The Dopranos

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Psychoanalysis on Tony's dreams on the sopranos

Intro

Television has always tried to provide a true representation of the human condition. This is evident in the emergence of reality shows, shows based on true stories, and very realistic fiction. The sopranos is one of the few fictional shows that faithfully simulate the situations it tries to recreate. The sopranos is a show on HBO about Tony Soprano and his life in the mob. The show, created by David chase, shows immense Freudian influence in many scenes involving psychotherapy, Freudian theories, symbolism and dreams. David chase himself studied psychology in collage and admits it's influence on the show. This report will deal with a series of dreams Tony soprano experiences in one episode of the show (season 2, "funhouse").

Background

Tony soprano is the main character of the show. He is the boss of the soprano crime family and his life is divided into two sections. His family life and his criminal life. Even though they are mixed, both provide a separate view of Tony soprano as a man. At home, he lives with wife Carmela, son Anthony, and daughter meadow. His family, while at times dysfunctional, manages to stick together. He constantly cheats on his wife and doesn't spend much time with his children. Meadow leaves the family to go to collage and Anthony Jr. struggles to make it through out high school. Even thought Tony shows consistent disappointment of Anthony Jr., it doesn't come close to the emotions he has toward his mother. She mistreated Tony as a child and provided nothing but bad memories. His experience with his mother might have let him to posses a subconscious hatred for females, which he displays by only viewing them as sex objects. Tony didn't have a bad relationship with his father growing up, but that's because he always blamed his mother. His uncle Jr., conspired with Tony's mom to kill him after he was out of jail. This, and other events, let to they're lack of communication.

Tony's crime family consist of his cousin, Christopher, under bosses like Big Puss, Pauly walnuts, Silvio Dante and other business associates. This group is loyal, but never hesitate to kill any one for they're own benefit. They treat each other with the illusion of respect and honor, which (the lack of) is the cause for many of the conflicts present in the show. Involve in the middle of all of this is his psychotherapist, Dr.Melfi. She is responsible for many changes in Tony's attitude and gets past his resistance.

Context

The episode starts with an argument between Tony and his mom. He gives her some airline tickets to shut her up and leaves. He then goes out to an Indian restaurant with his crime family and gets sick. When he gets home he has some bizarre dreams caused by food poising, which also causes vomiting and diarrhea.

First Dream

Tony's first dream starts off with him walking on the bird walk of a New Jersey beach. It's the middle of June and it's snowing. Birds are flying around making noise. Tony then approaches his group of friends. He talks to a man he killed a year ago and discusses his disease. He thanks the man for a coat that his brother got him in real life, and he confirms he is dead. Tony is set to die September 5th of some disease but he decides to burn himself instead of waiting. The camera shows shots of Big Puss and he later disappears, Tony then asks "where's Puss". A squeaky sound is present in the background, it sounds like people jumping in a bed or the opening of a door. The group is waiting for a unknown person who doesn't show up. Then Tony decides to burn himself. While he is holding the match, Christopher asks "What if the doctors are wrong" Tony explodes and Tony wakes up sick.

This dream sequence is full of symbolism and metaphors. The setting for the dream takes place in a beach full of animal noises and signs. The birds present on the beach can be seeing as a reference to the birds which lived in his backyard in season one. Back then, this birds serve as a symbol for family. Seeing since birds in the beach can symbolism the breaking up of the family, especially since meadow will graduate a week after the dream and live on her own.

The presence of the ocean is also important. It symbolizes Tony's current state of emotional upheaval and his involvement with his own subconscious. It represents Tony's imagination talking over the dream, while still mixing with reality. He makes reference to the coat, which he got for Carmela, to a man who he thought bought it for him. The man is actually his twin brother who he killed a year ago.

A certain emphasis is place on Big Puss through out this episode. The camera focuses on him multiple times and at the end he disappears. Obviously, Big Puss is the main person in this dreams and references will still be made about him. Thought out the dream there is a weird, rhythmic sound, that can best be described as a mix between somebody jumping in a bed and a squeaky door. This sound represents Tony's sexual drive while looking all over for "Puss". The disease that strikes Tony represents his eventual death and his selfish attitude. As he would rather kill himself

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