Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series by Scott F. Stoddart PDF

By Scott F. Stoddart

AMC's episodic drama Mad males has turn into a cultural phenomenon, detailing America's preoccupation with commercialism and snapshot within the Camelot of Nineteen Sixties Kennedy-era the US, whereas self-consciously exploring present preoccupations. The 12 serious essays during this assortment supply a extensive, interdisciplinary method of this hugely appropriate tv exhibit, analyzing Mad males as a cultural barometer for modern matters with consumerism, capitalism and sexism. themes comprise New Historicist parallels among the Nineteen Sixties and the current day, psychoanalytical techniques to the exhibit, the self as commodity, and the "Age of Camelot" as an "Age of Anxiety," between others. an in depth solid record and episode consultant are integrated.

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Although Don reassures her with the promise that they will go away again, the souvenir charm is the physical reminder — the threat, even — that the pattern of their life together is already formed, and that she might add another charm here and there, but that their trajectory shows very little promise of changing. The Call of the Wild: Pete Campbell Don Draper and the women of Mad Men are not the only “mad man” or “man women” whose characters are informed by these literary archetypes. Pete Campbell is, in many ways, the counterpoint to Don’s self-made man: he is a man with a name (“New Amsterdam” 1:4) and a prestigious family (Pete’s mother’s family, the Dyckmans, owned everything north of 125th).

With baby Gene’s paternity already in question, Betty welcomes yet another foreign male presence into the Draper home through the introduction of her Victorian fainting couch as the centerpiece of the home’s “hearth”— a couch that viewers recognize as the surrogate for Henry Francis, and where Betty’s restless hands often wander —(“Seven Twenty Three” 3:7). Interestingly, when these images metaphorically depict the fragility of domestic harmony — as implied through subtle icons like the house of cards — this usually implies that the responsibility lies with the woman since it is her indiscretion alone that will tear the family asunder.

Just how “natural” this learned femininity is, however, is extremely suspect, as argued famously by John Stuart Mill in The Subjection of Women: “What is now called the nature of women is an eminently artificial thing — the result of forced repression in 1. “We’ll start over like Adam and Eve” (Hernandez & Holmberg) 31 some directions, unnatural stimulation in others” (138). Mill argues that women’s (and presumably men’s) nature can not truly be known since it is manipulated and distorted from infancy into becoming the socialized, gendered creature we recognize, yet the product is so pervasive that we attribute the result to God’s design instead of our own making.

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