By Scott F. Stoddart
AMC's episodic drama Mad males has turn into a cultural phenomenon, detailing America's preoccupation with commercialism and picture within the Camelot of Nineteen Sixties Kennedy-era the USA, whereas self-consciously exploring present preoccupations. The 12 serious essays during this assortment provide a huge, interdisciplinary method of this hugely correct tv express, interpreting Mad males as a cultural barometer for modern issues with consumerism, capitalism and sexism. subject matters comprise New Historicist parallels among the Nineteen Sixties and the current day, psychoanalytical methods to the convey, the self as commodity, and the "Age of Camelot" as an "Age of Anxiety," between others. a close forged record and episode consultant are incorporated.
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Additional info for Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series
Contrary to the myth of westward progress and freedom, in their reinvention Gatsby, Sutpen and Don all travel eastward toward the immensely more rigid civilization of upper crust society. These learned standards of dress and decorum are antithetical to the “natural” man narrative central to American mythology. Gatsby and Sutpen attempt to recreate themselves as lords in a European feudal model — Gatsby by living in a lord’s manor, whose original owner wanted to thatch neighboring houses into serfs’ cottages; Sutpen by invoking through his God-like “Be” an agrarian plantation society with his mansion at its center.
The fullest portrayal of the new world’s representative man as a new, American Adam was given by Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass— in the liberated, innocent, solitary, forward-thrusting personality that animates the whole of that long poem” (Lewis 28). ” He is the guiltless Adam, but he is still cast off from his Eden. Part of Whitman’s task in Leaves of Grass—Children of Adam in particular — is this articulation of a new American, a type that Don represents, and crucial to the success of this American and his nation is a new national literature.
Don’s decision to abandon his identity is less clear, as all viewers see is him, lying wounded, exchanging dog tags with the dead lieutenant Draper. Other than his half-brother, Adam, his “family”— both of his biological parents are dead — does not seem to particularly care what happens to Don, so why bother with the renaming at all beyond a scheme for an early discharge? As Lewis articulates, it allows for a “starting up again under fresh initiative,” a rebirth not possible if one still labors under one’s old name.