The significance of the film, mad men and the paradox of the past by Matthew Weiner according to Simon, is to create awareness about the societies dynamic nature and highlight consequent changes in opinions and attitudes of the people. This is may be seen in the films plot in the fifties and the early sixties and by the roles played by individual characters.
Simon focuses on the main character by the name Don Draper, who is rather archaic in character and rigid as he holds on to his ways and fails to change with time. She does this by assuming different perspectives from both the liberals and conservative viewers. The film appeals to the formers moral senses and attitudes of the modern day society, by inducing prejudice in the viewer.
The liberals hate Dons character as he is both a sexist and a racist, attributes that are not condoned in the modern day society. By down looking on his black servant, treating him with cruelty as an inferior being and handling his wife roughly, Don is expected to fallout from play in the future episodes. This, however, fails to happen and as such this type of viewers are left with suspense to quench.
To the conservative viewers, the unravelling of Dons character according to Simons, leaves them by surprise. This is the type that fit the baby boomer generation type of rigid, business minded men, with ways and opinions rooted in the past, where men were licentiously superior to women.
The conservative viewers are apprehensive of Don's character in the first seasons. According to Simons, this type of viewers are not to be put off by Don's actions of discriminating his wife and paradoxically pulling strings to see his secretary ascend the ranks of the job position. Rather they believe that it is a normal thing to be bigoted towards women. They perpetuate the stereotypical treatment of women as the inferior gender.Simons analysis of the film is more objective than biased. She seems to portray the instances in the films as they are. The change in society is inevitable as the times change and as such, the baby boomers are out to be replaced, this goes parallel to Dons statement that New York City has no memories. She explores the characters of the film more objectively, seemingly to portray them as anti-heroes rather than ordinary epic heroes, who differ from their villains by having normal human weaknesses and errors that often lead to their downfall.
The more Don is accorded attention, so does she on his character traits that are a replica of the baby boomer stereotypes, in a time punctuated with chauvinism and racism. For instance, Don abusing drugs and power and at the same time ironically giving his wife a lecture about raising the kids right.
The implication of Simons assertion that Don Draper is the man in the gray flannel suit is based on the fact that the latters character is similar to Tom Raths in the film of the same name. This is true because, as Tom tries to strike a balance between his marital demands and those from work, so does Don between his marriage and his habits of taking drugs and picking up strangers for a ride in his car.
Simons, Natasha. Mad Men and the paradox of the past.Signs of life in the USA.7th ed. Print
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