Cultural Studies

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

By Scott F. Stoddart

AMC's episodic drama Mad males has develop into a cultural phenomenon, detailing America's preoccupation with commercialism and picture within the Camelot of Nineteen Sixties Kennedy-era the US, whereas self-consciously exploring present preoccupations. The 12 severe essays during this assortment provide a vast, interdisciplinary method of this hugely appropriate tv exhibit, reading Mad males as a cultural barometer for modern matters with consumerism, capitalism and sexism. subject matters contain New Historicist parallels among the Nineteen Sixties and the current day, psychoanalytical ways to the exhibit, the self as commodity, and the "Age of Camelot" as an "Age of Anxiety," between others. an in depth solid checklist and episode advisor are integrated.

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Extra resources for Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series

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As his name suggests, Don is a “draper”— a peddler, a clothier — and he drapes the American social corpus. C. Smith “dons” these consumer products to suggest the illusion of a cohesive body politic, Don Draper sells Americana to a public hungry for security and prosperity. Don produces culture, and then convinces the masses that his illusion is based on reality when, actually, it is all just something imagined to sell things (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” 1:1). Advertising is, notoriously, an industry which produces nothing tangible: “the advertisement is 1.

Although he ends up on a more morally courageous journey to help the runaway slave, Jim, become free, Huck’s primary impulse is simply to flee; he declares at the beginning of the novel that his impetus for leaving home was a desire for change, and to escape the social suffocation he could no longer stand (Twain 748–9). Huck does not seek any particular fate, he simply does not want the one he has been dealt, and the unbridled West presents the best opportunity for a new life. Of course the levity of Huck’s assertion that it was “rough living in the house all the time” belies the graver realities of Huck’s life — motherless, with an alcoholic, abusive and absent father — even when he is living with the Widow Douglas.

Betty fits his feminine ideal — the type of girl you marry — but in his mind, she is a wife, not a partner, hence, his continual attraction to complicated, independent and powerful women such as Midge Daniels, Rachel Menken, and Bobbie Barrett. Compared to Betty, Midge appears to have none of the trappings of the middle class: the house in the suburbs, the social legitimacy sanctified by a wedding license, children, or wealth. She lives a modest bohemian lifestyle, writing greeting cards, accepting gifts from her lovers, and enjoying the freedoms that bourgeois respectability cannot offer.

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