Don Draper of 'Mad Men' Weeps Up a Storm

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Several years ago, a movie-fan discussion forum on www.joblo.com discussed a top 10 list of male crying scenes. Among the teary actors, posters included Robert De Niro, Tom Cruise, Liam Neeson, Eric Bana, Christian Bale, Jim Carrey and Sylvester Stallone.

One post listed several films in which Mel Gibson emoted to tears, with the comment, "Mel is a real cryer it seems."

Sean Penn's performance in "Dead Man Walking" elicited this response: "It's probably the only male crying scene that almost got me going."

What does Draper's crying spell bode for future episodes?

Diamond, who's also associate professor of psychiatry at UCLA, and author of "My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other throughout Their Lives," says we've already seen big changes in this character this season.

"We've seen Draper's underlying depression, which shows he's actually maturing," Diamond said. "It's only when he sees people as separate individuals -- not as objects that he can use -- that he becomes mature enough to experience depression. He's beginning to see people in a whole new way."

Viewers will undoubtedly see a disconnect between Draper's being brought to tears at the loss of Anna, and his letting his wife Betty divorce him without much hint of emotional turmoil on his part.

"Draper relied and depended more on Anna's love than he did on Betty's," Pollack said. "It's not until men allow their emotions to emerge that they can actually decide whom they love and what they genuinely value."

Peggy, having her own secrets and a professional ambition well matched with Draper's, seemed poised to step into the role just vacated by Anna. When Don tells her that the person he lost was the only person who really knew him, Peggy said, "That's not true."

For viewers familiar with the program time frame of the '60s -- when men typically withheld just about every emotion except anger -- watching Don Draper's transformation can be a validation. As for younger male viewers, it can be a cautionary tale.

"It can help us rethink how we'd like to be," Pollack said. "Both men and women can both store and express strong emotions and, when emotional expression doesn't occur, it can affect us physically."

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