Free «"Mad Men"» Essay Sample

1. Why did Don abandon Pete to spend time with the nomads? Why did Don leave them?

Don Draper is one of the main characters of Mad Men, television series created by Matthew Weiner. He is a very controversial person with obscure past, questionable moral principles, and peculiar opinions on many issues. Don’s real name is Richard Whitman, but he conceives it from almost all people. Don drinks and smokes a lot, which was quite typical for the 1960s; he is unhappy with his wife Betty and does not dedicate enough time to his young children who suffer without their father’s attention. Although Don is married, he often comes in relationships with other women. Moreover, he experiences identity crises and feels unhappy and frustrated. In the episode 11 of the season 2, neither Don nor other characters of the series gives the answer to the question why Don abandons his colleague Pete and spends time with the nomads instead, and why he leaves them; the viewers can only make suggestions. Some possible explanations of his behavior will be given in this essay.

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Firstly, the motivation of his behavior might be the abovementioned identity crisis. Don is depressed because of the constant lie and secretiveness. He feels that no one loves and appreciates him because of his personality. Don is not yet old; he seeks for happiness and the sense of living. Perhaps, he is also willing to love and to be loved, even though he says in the first episode that he does not believe in love. Don experiences some kind of existential crisis. In the episode 9, season 1, when asked, “What else is there?” he answers: “I don't know. Life being lived? I'd like to stop talking about it and get back to it.” Thus, Joy, who introduced Don to nomads, her friends, seemed to Don as someone who could make him happy, bring new sense in his living, and awake his feelings. The girl was not typical; she seemed very extraordinary and frank. Moreover, Joy seemed to be extremely independent and free; and Don might also like to have more freedom. She was a surprise for Don; he asked her several times: “Who are you?” Perhaps, he decided that he had met a person who also had something to conceive.

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Another reason why Don might have chosen to visit nomads instead of doing business with Pete is his dissatisfaction with his job. Don’s business is good from the point of making money, but money does not make him happy. He might be tired of constant lie and manipulating the minds of people. He might also be shocked by the presentation of the military project where the possibility of bombing the USSR cities with peaceful civilians was discussed.

The reasons why Don leaves Joy and the nomads are also unclear. He might have realized that Joy would not make him happy; that she was not someone Don could love. He might have been reluctant to abandon his business and travel with Joy. Perhaps, he understood that his relationship with the girl was only one out of many Don’s short-time infatuations, and it could not make him start living.

Summing up, Don Draper is a very ambiguous character whose intentions are not always clear. He experiences some kind of existential crisis due to the issue of personal identity. One of the possible explanations, why he abandons Pete to spend time with the nomads, is his desire to get rid of the feeling that he does not live. He might have wanted to find happiness and peace in life. Another possible reason is his dissatisfaction with his job. He might have got tired of lie and wanted to spend time with candid and frank Joy. Don might have left Joy and the nomads because he understood that they could not help him to deal with the existential problems, or he might have been reluctant to abandon his business and travel with Joy.

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2. If asked, how would Don describe truth in advertising?

Don Draper is one of the main characters of the Mad Men television series. He is a creative director and a junior partner of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. He has a big experience in the field of advertizing and his business is quite successful. Don is a very reserved person; even if he has some personal problems, he seldom complains or shares his real feelings with somebody. If asked about truth in advertising, Don would not deny that advertising has little to do with the truth because the main purpose of any advertising is to earn more money. Nevertheless, Don would also disagree that advertising is mere cheating and deceiving the consumers. According to Don, advertising is the mix of both truth and fiction. These two concepts will be explained in this essay.

Firstly, Don has never denied that advertising can be considered telling a lie to consumers because saying the truth is often not lucrative. In the episode six, season 1 Roy calls advertising “perpetuating the lie” and asks Don how does he sleep at night, and Don answers: “On a bed made of money.” It is another matter for which, according to Don, people often want to be deceived. In the same episode, he says: “People want to be told what to do so badly that they'll listen to anyone.” Don does not feel guilty because of his work. Nevertheless, Don refuses to take tobacco accounts because he understands the harmful effect of smoking.

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Secondly, according to Don, advertising is not a lie but “ineptitude with insufficient cover”. In the world of Don Draper, the truth and the fiction are mixed so fancifully that it is almost impossible to differentiate one from another. The mixture of the truth and a lie exists not only in the sphere of Don’s job but also penetrates into his personal life; he lies to his wife and to many other people. He even lives with somebody else’s name.