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mad men: "love among the ruins"


It's so nice to come to the end of the weekend and look forward to something on tv. I love this show.  This week's episode for those of us that don't have the iTunes season pass and didn't get the release last Monday:

Episode 2: Love Among the Ruins
Betty gets a visit from her father. Sterling Cooper grapples with a very specific client request. Roger makes arrangements for a wedding. Peggy becomes personally affected by a campaign.

Roger planning a wedding? The writers love us. Grab your martini and join in the discussion.

Comments

gatsbyfan
Aug. 26th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
skywaterblue had a great take on the Maypole as well:

Robert Browning was a Victorian poet. During the Victorian era, the Romantic movement spawned several artistic offshoots including the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. All of these movements shared an interest in an idyllic pastoral past of English countryside, closely connected with the mystic early days of Pagan Brittania and the legend of King Arthur. This mytho-historic past was a lens through which people could experience a wide range of emotional depth. This was in part a reaction to the Victorian trend towards piety and extreme emotional closed-offness.

One result of this trend was an interest in reviving old Pagan traditions including the May Pole. Circling around the May Pole is connected with early-spring, midsummer pagan fertility rituals and represents the courtship of the young Lord (the pole) with the Goddess of the Earth (the young women or children encircling the phallic pole with ribbons.)

So in the scene we're given in Mad Men, we're connecting the ancient rite of dancing around the May Pole to the figurative image of the young woman barefoot in the grass. Don brushing the grass is symbolic of lust for/yearing for possession of the young woman in his mind. It's the youthful, sexual counterpoint to his original 'carousel' metaphor for nostalgia and family in season one. This further connects it to the episode in which Peggy decries the men lusting for false-youth in women and then goes out to experience her own sexual power as a now mature adult.

In an episode full of decay (Betty's father, the city of New York, the firm itself) we end the episode on a classic symbol of rebirth.


I thought it was pretty laden with obvious sexual imagery, but I guess there are people really confused by the whole scene.