Following the Rules

To be a part of “the family,” it is demanded that an indirectly established “code of honor” be followed. In this family, the traditional structure of family is the “code of honor.” The values that are expected to be followed include loyalty, and respect, honor. Each of these values are expected to be followed, as members of the Soprano family and Tony’s crew are held to the highest standard. Tony acknowledges the sanctity of these standards in the following quote: “”I think of my father…his people…they had their standards, they had pride. Today what do we got?” (Chase, Pilot). Tony, in other words, is stating that long ago, his father’s crew heavily believed in following the standards set before them by their strict predecessors. Today, Tony’s crew is not as willing to follow suit.

Loyalty: The line of work that many of the characters in the show take part in forces each character to remain loyal to one another. Keeping quiet about the activities that the members of the mob participated in was required in staying loyal to the family. Remaining loyal to the values and traditions celebrated by the Sopranos was extremely significant, as straying from them would lead to penalties that harmed not only the offender, but their entire immediate family.

Respect: The illegal activities that take place are sworn to secrecy through each character’s ability to respect one another,

The Sopranos

and most importantly the honor of the family. Respecting the Soprano name was pertinent to staying alive. Any disrespect such as going against the values and traditions that the Sopranos supported led to punishment as severe as death.

Honor: The Soprano “name” and reputation are especially important to maintain. Each character in the show was expected to follow orders, as well as maintain and respect the values that were expected to be followed. Characteristics like homosexuality, interracial coupling, and serving as a government informant were all seen as disrespectful to the code of honor that was established in the family, which would lead to harsh consequences.

It can be said that by not demonstrating values like respect, honor, and loyalty all lead to one place: punishment and penalties. These values are taken very seriously, and the show thoroughly demonstrates the consequences that take place if someone were to stray from these values. Although these values were put into place, it was very hard for each character to follow them, leading them to a series of problems, and later on, numerous consequences.