By Scott F. Stoddart
AMC's episodic drama Mad males has turn into a cultural phenomenon, detailing America's preoccupation with commercialism and photograph within the Camelot of Nineteen Sixties Kennedy-era the US, whereas self-consciously exploring present preoccupations. The 12 severe essays during this assortment supply a vast, interdisciplinary method of this hugely appropriate tv exhibit, studying Mad males as a cultural barometer for modern matters with consumerism, capitalism and sexism. subject matters comprise New Historicist parallels among the Nineteen Sixties and the current day, psychoanalytical methods 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 consultant are incorporated.
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Additional resources for Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series
Mad Men provides the familiar bildungsroman narrative, but rather than integrating oneself into society, man unlearns his early socialization as his passage into adulthood. Rather than trying to ﬁgure out how much of a “Madonna” or “whore” each woman needs to be, the women of Mad Men must recognize that ascribing to these labels perpetuates this world, and that they must reject these judgments all together. Bobbie Barrett tells Peggy that there is power in being a woman (“The New Girl” 2:5). In one sense she liberates Peggy from feeling that she must contain her femininity in order to wield authority, but she also teaches Peggy to trade one gendered performance for another that is equally artiﬁcial, however more palatable.
On the postwar home front, these ﬁgures had to navigate through a social mineﬁeld where women increasingly worked (at least until they caught a husband), earned their own money, and experienced independence, yet this same world still touted one feminine ideal while issuing contrary sexual pressures. This created a conundrum for both sexes, as is evidenced in Mad Men. For example, Don seems to like and respect women, but he has a harder time taking “ladies” seriously, and this double standard places a great strain on his marriage.
Nor can he singlehandedly ﬁll the voids in her life as she has been taught to expect of him. She is naturally enraged to discover his inﬁdelity. She, after all, plays the dutiful housewife, and relies on Don to play the protector, not the threat, to the family. Meanwhile, she is largely unaware of the extent to which Don’s actions actually do threaten her family: they live under an assumed family name; at one point Don offers to abandon his family for yet another fresh start, this time with Rachel; and, of course, Don ﬂees to the “frontier” (Palm Springs) and, if only momentarily, considers never returning.
Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series by Scott F. Stoddart