Gypsies, tramps and thieves

 Posted by on October 28, 2009 at 6:11 am  Season 3
Oct 282009
 

I’m always gonna love Minnie Mouse.

There was a bit of discussion about why Sally and Bobby were dressed in these costumes, when earlier in the episode they had talked about being Minnie Mouse and an astronaut.

The reason that the kids’ first-choice costumes were nixed, and this was also discussed, was that neither Betty nor Don wanted the kids in store bought costumes.

I remember having the same struggle when I was a kid. I can remember the Halloween of 1970 (or possibly ’69) being mesmerized by the costumes in the stores. And my Nana bought me a Cinderella mask, which I thought was just magical (but wicked uncomfortable). My mother insisted on homemade costumes, and as I got a little older I started to appreciate the creativity. Are you kidding? My mom helped me last year when I needed a costume for a Halloween wedding I was singing in–I was in fact, Minnie Mouse.

The Drapers have money. Lots of it. So this was an ethical decision, one that Don and Betty both shared. Betty is the one who’s gotta sew ’em, for crying out loud. But no, we don’t do that. We will not indulge our children in that manner.

The hobo and the gypsy hearken an older world feel, one that seems to echo that ethic. Basketcases have also remarked that both the hobo and the gypsy represent freer, simpler times. Dick Whitman. People’s real selves. Unencumbered.

But isn’t it true that the images of both hobos and gypsies are associated with deception?

Well, yeah. You might even say there is a flavor of hidden identity.

And waaait-a-second. What do Minnie Mouse and the astronaut represent?

The astronaut represents exploration and the unknown. Minnie Mouse represents commercialism.

They both represent the future. And you know what else they represent?

Don’s work.

So I just want to say that while the Gypsy and the Hobo was one of the most emotional episodes of television I’ve ever watched, and the final scene was oh-so touching, I just don’t know. I don’t know if the Drapers finding themselves a family of gypsies and hobos is quite as deep-sigh-of-relief as it might appear.

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  60 Responses to “Gypsies, tramps and thieves”

  1. Oops, no edit button! I'm not sure if you asked Don for words to describe his life as Dick Whitman "freer" or "simpler" would be first off his tongue. Quite the opposite, I would think.

  2. There's a picture of you in that Cinderella mask somwhere. 1970 sounds right.

    Don is also uncomfortable with astronauts. Remember the Right Guard campaign? And later he bolted from the aerospace conference.

    But Bobby saying it was SO cute. Oh, that Jarred.

  3. In the S2 DVD commentary for "The Mountain King", Matt says that the shot of Don as he's ringing Anna's doorbell is meant to make him look like a hobo. His hat is covering his eyes slightly, and his head is turned down so he has to lift his chin up for the camera to see his eyes.

    Twice so far in S3 we've seen similar shots and I don't think they're accidental. The first was the first time Don visited Suzanne at her house – same thing – rings the doorbell and we get the same image.

    Also, in "G&H" Don has that look when they ring the Hanson's doorbell.

    We can argue about the meaning of Gypsy, but the Hobo's meaning is very clear.

  4. I wore it with a football uniform. I was a weird kid. If Danny was in the picture then we know the year.

  5. I took a couple things away from the "costume" thing.

    One, when Betty and Don try "mend their differences" in the kitchen, I don't think it's an accident that they're sitting next to a sewing machine. BTW (here I go again with colors), but the two swatches of fabric set by the machine are green and blue. So, in a way, the Drapers are trying to reconcile their established marriage (blue) with the new understanding (green) that results from Don's confession.

    At the focus group, Kurt comments that the test subjects are projecting how they see themselves onto their pets. In this sense, I saw the costumes made for Sally and Bobby as Betty's projection of how she sees her and Don. Furthermore, the Drapers themselves are wearing costumes of a happily married couple which they forged on that night .

  6. @B Cooper… In the context of the episode, I took "gypsy" to refer to a woman who makes life choices for practical, not emotional reasons. Based on who they married (or stay married to) and why, Betty, Annabelle and Joan all conform to that in this episode.

  7. Wouldn't it be great if we had the courage to wear our Halloween costumes everyday of the year?

  8. I initially thought Suzanne, who wanted to go to Mystic, was the gypsy but now I don't know…

  9. My sister and I were just talking the other day (before we watched this episode) about how we used to dress as hobos for Halloween when we were kids in the early 70's. It was a fun, easy costume.

  10. "Basketcases have also remarked that both the hobo and the gypsy represent freer, simpler times."

    I still don't see that. Weren't hobos and gypsies generally afflicted by poverty and rejected by society? How is being forced to live on the road while struggling to find the means to survive indicative of any kind of freedom?

  11. Dick thought hobos represented freedom and a better life.

  12. He did? In which episode did he say that? If he thought that as a youngster living under Archie's roof, he may have had a point: they were almost as poor, and Archie was abusive to him.

    But Don Draper in the 1960s escaping in his Cadillac is no indication of hoboism. He's rich and has professional skills to rely on. I don't see why people keep on linking some of his evasive actions to hoboism when the character is merely using his privileges as a white member of the upper-class.

  13. I agree with the line of thinking expressed in 2 & 12. I think it is common to romanticize nomadic life.

    I didn't draw the conclusion that #7 did – could someone explain this theory to me? Why would women who marry and are unhappy with their choice of mate be gypsies?

    I think the not-buying-a-costume is part of not spoiling the kids. Just as Betty not agreeing to getting Sally a pencil case. Interesting that advertising man Don doesn't want his kids buying junk.

    Off topic: The hobo/Dick Whitman did not draw me to the series, the period drama set in a NYC advertising agency did. I look forward to seeing where MM will go now that the secret is less secret.

  14. @ 14 Remington- There was an episode in season 1 titled "The Hobo Code." In it, there are flashbacks to Don's childhood. A hobo comes to the farm, and is nice to the young Dick Whitman. The hobo doesn't care that Dick is "a whore child." The hobo explains markings that other hobos make on houses. He refers to Dick as an honorary hobo. For Dick, that was huge. His father beats him, the other children tease him, and the entire town shuns him and whispers about him behind his back. The hobo being kind to Dick was a rare moment of tenderness in his early life.

    The hobo had a huge influence on Don. You have to look at Don's running away not just in the context of time, but also in the context of his past experiences.

  15. Off topic: The hobo/Dick Whitman did not draw me to the series, the period drama set in a NYC advertising agency did. I look forward to seeing where MM will go now that the secret is less secret.

    my sentiments too.

    the flashbacks and the scenes from the Draper home life this year walk a tightrope in the Douglas Sirk-us mode. the problem with the suburban story this season is that the Suzanne story doesn't seem like it's Sirk enough – not lush with color, not expressive enough – for me, obviously, because others don't have this same impression.

    I miss the colors of Helen Bishop's hair and Betty's polka-dot dresses and the poof of can-can slips in suburbia. Suzanne's story is drab and somewhat affected, like the hobo stories, in ways that play counter to the sizzle of 1950/60s techicolor melodrama.

    The 1960s were still entirely buttoned up, beyond the subset of emerging hippies from the San Francisco beat culture and Greenwich Village folkies. If you look at pictures of protests, etc during that time, the men in them, beyond musicians, wear black horn-rimmed glasses and white shirts and skinny ties and don't have side burns. while the women may be moving to shifts and geometric prints, they are not doing Janis Joplin impersonations.

    but back to the advertising world… please. please go back there, Mad Men. They have so many incredible actors and so much cultural gold to mine, beyond Don's Imitation of Life story.

  16. @15patroltrip could someone explain this theory to me? Why would women who marry and are unhappy with their choice of mate be gypsies?

    Well, that's the conclusion I came to in the context of the episode. If the Bobby as hobo represents Don, then Sally as a gypsy has to represent something — this is MM after all πŸ™‚

    Again, the common thread connecting all the women (except Suzanne) is that they didn't marry (or stay married) based on love.

    Betty stays with Don out of pity and after being advised by the family lawyer to look at her situation from the "practical" standpoint.

    Annabelle dumped Roger (who she loved) to marry someone to run her father's dog food company.

    Joan seems relieved when Greg enlists (I truly believe this). She won't have to work AND will have the prestige of being married to a captain (as the prestige of being married to a doctor didn't quite work out).

    Dare I say that these woman all somewhat prostitute (small "p") themselves. Hence, the gypsy connection.

  17. I really saw Suzanne as the gypsy.

    The gypsy was usually misunderstood and not trusted by the villagers.

    She's eventually shunned and abandoned and with suitcase in tow sneaks out of town under cover of darkness, no?

  18. I went as a hobo at about this time, maybe a year or two later. I know my sister went as a gypsy at least once. I don’t even remember seeing any store-bought costumes until like you say, ’70 or so, and even then they were rare (and crappy, clowns and the like).

  19. oh, I also do not think Betty stayed with Don out of pity. She wants to love him and wants him to love her. As flawed as they both are. I have no idea where their relationship will go from here.

    Annabelle chose a man she thought was responsible – she said Roger wasn't serious and she wanted "seriousness." Roger's bitterness, of course, was that he did become serious and she wasn't there for him. But he didn't really choose that seriousness. The war forced it on him.

    Joan is a fine woman and – what do you think someone with her talents would do? Marry the garbage man? People live in social worlds in which they are comfortable and Joan knows the world of high-end New York City, even if she is not, or so it seems, from an elite background herself.

    She would no more fit into the world of a confederate-zombie Alabama religious "elite" than, oh, Bob Dylan would. Even tho she was mean and spiteful and condescending to Paul's girlfriend.

    I think you are far too hard on the women with that post. What about the men? What about Don gold digging in his marriage to Betty? What about him denying his brother because Don is a social climber who didn't want to be embarrassed?

    What about Paul with his feigned social conscious who thinks Peggy has no talent because she's a female – and he expects her to fetch his drinks even tho they are equal in terms of their job descriptions.

    What about Pete… just in general.

  20. One nuance I’ll add to the historical context you cite is that until the industrial revolution, family units in primarily agricultural economies depended on labor to survive. Thus, having kids (lots of ‘em) was essential. Given the infant mortality rates 100 years ago, this meant that for the most part women really were “barefoot and pregnantâ€Β most of their time.

    but these women were working at the same time. and the children were working, long after the industrial revolution began. child labor laws were created to stop this abuse of poor children.

    farmers had large families even into the 60s, tho, for that same child labor (and because birth control wasn't part of the lexicon beyond, not tonight dear, I have ten children)

    condoms existed in the 1500s – and before. they were made out of sheep's skin and were tied on with a "bow." gives a whole new meaning to little bow peep…

    the middle and lower classes did not favor using them because of the social stigma and religious opposition. men went to prostitutes as an alternative to having larger families – they just didn't know about the bastards or they died from their harsh lives.

    Venereal diseases ran wild after wars, so social thinkers hoped to encourage condom use to stop the spread of disease but the opposition was fierce among soldiers who didn't want to have to deal with condoms – at least in G.B. during the industrial revolution. but a lot of men came back from the Crimean War with condoms or knowledge of them, and rolled tobacco called cigarettes.

    I guess, when I read that the MM women "prostituted" themselves, I couldn't see how that term applied to them but not to males. Considering the hatred our language places upon females vs. males, it's hard to read that line without a lot of cultural baggage attached for me.

  21. @esme 27

    Love the "bow peep" comment πŸ™‚

    I agree. My point, which perhaps isn't as clear as it could be, was that it took our society over a century to adjust culturally to the economic changes that the industrial age had foistered upon it.

    For instance, child labor laws were instituted for kids working in factories. But in an agricultural setting, kids worked long and hard hours because the very survival of the family unit depended upon it – but I think I'm rambling now πŸ˜‰

  22. matt – the point is that Joan would not ever know the garbage man. he does not live in her world. the point is also that women were evaluated by the men they married. Joan would not see herself as the wife of the garbage man, no matter how correct it is to know that cultural/social differences are no indication of someone's worth.

    I also think Betty was enraged by Don's lies and ready to leave. But I also think she reached out to him when he told her about his life… she makes this clear when she shares her sandwich and chooses to be together to trick or treat.

    She got a lot of information to process – and she's still processing it, imo.

    It might be interesting to see where she goes after she realizes that, even knowing his big secret, he's still the same maddening man who cheats on her and invades her privacy with her doctor and gets mad when she wears a bikini when he's just fine with his time with Joy and her sometimes bikini.

  23. If you consider it from a more literal/physical point of view, then Ms. Farrell and the young Annabelle would be the gypsies – or former gypsy in Annabelle's case.

    However, it was Betty who was able to peer into Don's crystal box and see the truth.

  24. @esme

    Joan would not see herself as the wife of the garbage man, no matter how correct it is to know that cultural/social differences are no indication of someone’s worth.

    I hate to keep picking on Joan (I really do). But your accurate description of her character does speak volumes.

    Regarding Betty…I also think she reached out to him when he told her about his life… she makes this clear when she shares her sandwich and chooses to be together to trick or treat.

    But, as Roger tells Annabelle, pity isn't love. And that they go "trick or treating" only reinforces my belief that their marriage is disguise they now both knowingly wear.

  25. ultimately matt, by your definition we all prostitute ourselves along the way. We all do things for the money or the prestige or some other benefit that we don't necessarily like or want to do. So why draw the line with the women who don't marry solely for love? (Do any of us marry ONLY for love? I'd argue not many do.) I still don't see what that has to do with gypsies, unless you're reading some different meaning into what a gypsy is than I am.

  26. Matt, I'll tell you why I don't agree with the idea that Betty stayed just because the lawyer told her she had to, and she just pities Don. I'm not saying those things are not true, or part of what is currently motivating her, but I think there's a lot more there. What exactly, I'm not sure – and won't have a better handle on it until after the next few episodes.

    Given what the attorney told her, the safest choice for Betty would have been to return to Ossining, never mention what she'd discovered, and continuing on with the illusion. That could very easily have happened, and, as long as something didn't drop out of that box when she dropped it to betray her presence in that drawer, life could have gone on as it was indefinitely. Betty had no idea how Don would react to her confronting him. She knows that in the past he's resorted to bullying and gaslighting. She also knows he has a tendency to run away. For all she knew he could have gotten very angry and stormed off out of their lives forever.

    I think when she realized that he "wasn't going anywhere" and he broke down in front of her, yes, she may have pitied him in that moment. But I think it was one of the first real examples of him actually loving her (in whatever form of love they have between them) that she's seen during their marriage. She was there in the morning. She was kind. She didn't take advantage of the excuse not to go out with the family because of the baby. And, Betty is still angry, hurt, confused, betrayed, etc… I don't think we can begin to gauge what this means long term, but for now, there is something, some type of love between them keeping them together – at least for that day.

  27. @Deb 32… Because Joan has ambition and drive. Today, she’d put those qualities into her own career. But for Joan, she channeled it into finding a man who reflects that and putting her energy into promoting his career and his success.

    I'd only point out that the man she's helping raped her. I have no problem blaming society for her plight.

    @gypsy howell 33… ultimately matt, by your definition we all prostitute ourselves along the way.

    For the record, I didn't — and am currently drive a much smaller/older car than I would like to πŸ™‚

    Seriously, I'm not saying that the motivations of the men in MM are any more laudible. But this episode seemed to be highlighting the perspectives of the women more than the men in this regard.

    @Aran 34… I like that read too. Thats why I'm a fan of MM. There's so many different ways to interpret these things and still be correct. As I said, I keep going back and forth on who the "gypsy" was supposed to be.

  28. I see Don as both the gypsy AND the hobo. A more historical definition of gypsy refers to the traveling Romani people in Europe. Unfortunately, unlike the romanticized role Sally plays, gypsies face heavy discrimination because they have been stereotyped as being tricksters and thieves (think Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame). And isn't our Mr. Draper the biggest trickster and (identity) thief of them all.

  29. Great post and that costume is AWESOME! It looks really cute. You are lucky to have such a talented Mom!

  30. Suzanne did not want to go to Mystic.

    But initially I’d thought she was the gypsy as well.

  31. matt – it seems you relate the idea of gypsy to the idea that female gypsies sometimes made money by prostitution.. just like street singers and other poor women — even to this day… and to the idea that females who were outside of the home were viewed as the equivalent to prostitutes since they were not existing solely under the protection of a man.

    yet, to exist under the protection of a man also implies prostitution.

    it's a no win for females, in other words.

  32. …Joan seems relieved when Greg enlists (I truly believe this). She won’t have to work AND will have the prestige of being married to a captain (as the prestige of being married to a doctor didn’t quite work out).

    Dare I say that these woman all somewhat prostitute (small “pâ€Β) themselves. Hence, the gypsy connection.

    I truly did not see Joan as relieved. "Captain" is better than "Lieutenant"–but really not all that in the service hierarchy. And I don't see Joan wanting to leave Manhattan.

    Most marriages are made for more reasons than being crazy in love–by both partners. The social milieu depicted in Mad Men expected men to marry–look at Sal. I don't see your upper/lower case distinction with "prostitute." You just called these women whores.

  33. @esme 38 it seems you relate the idea of gypsy to the idea that female gypsies sometimes made money by prostitution

    I meant "prostitute" in a broader sense and not necessarily by its literal meaning.

    In the context of the episode, I guess I mostly see "gypsy" as the female equivilent of "hobo." The difference being that the gypsy seems a bit more goal oriented than the hobo who aimlessly lives hand to mouth.

  34. matt – one point of the feminist movement was that women had no real options. they could marry well or not and live with the consequences or be even worse off, many times.

    marriage as currently construed as a partnership of equals is a recent phenomena among all but the working poor, whose lives depended upon the wages of wives, as well.

    funny, too, for all the talk about liberation, etc. among the well-to-do and educated was/is the fact that poorer households have traditionally been more egalitarian – men doing housework too, etc. because the power differential created by one person being the household pet of another, with all the status that conferred on both of them, helped to sustain women’s second class status.

    in the early 1960s, in many states, married women were not allowed to own property in their names. in other words, if a woman was married, she did not have the same property rights as her husband because she WAS a form of property, legally, by the way the laws were crafted.

  35. @esme… one point of the feminist movement was that women had no real options. they could marry well or not and live with the consequences or be even worse off, many times.

    I don’t disagree and I’m not judging them. The three women “prostitute” because of the social/economic realities of the time.

    One nuance I’ll add to the historical context you cite is that until the industrial revolution, family units in primarily agricultural economies depended on labor to survive. Thus, having kids (lots of ’em) was essential. Given the infant mortality rates 100 years ago, this meant that for the most part women really were “barefoot and pregnant” most of their time. These women weren’t stupid. It was what was necessary to live. I’d argue that the industrial revolution eliminated the economic necessity of having LOTS of kids. However, the social landscape for women took MUCH longer to change.

  36. Like #18 esme – the Drepression-era/Suzanne sepia tones never worked for me. “DonÒ€ℒs Imitation of Life story” – tee hee.

    Thanks # 19 Matt Maul, I understand the common thread and the small “p” — “To sell (oneself or one’s talent, for example) for an unworthy purpose.” But what has that to do with gypsies? I’m afraid you’ll have to hit me over the head in order for me to understand.

    Romanticizing the hobo is a grand tradition in American entertainment. I assign everyone the film “Sullivan’s Travels” as homework!

  37. But did Dick grow up to be like the hobo, or like his father – the “dishonest man” of the code marking? Or both? And how seriously should we take the distinction – that hobo could’ve had a wife and/or kids somewhere.

    I don’t see why Suzanne can’t also be the gypsy. Seems like they were cropping up everywhere – the backstory of Roger hoboing through Europe and the gypsy who stole his heart?

  38. @less of me I really saw Suzanne as the gypsy.

    I can’t really argue with that read either. I certainly went back and forth a lot myself. Of course, at the beginning, Betty is the one with the suitcase sneaking out of town. Also, based on what we heard of Roger’s history, he “bummed” around Europe for a time before the war. And then there’s Greg who seems a bit aimless. So, they all struck me as hobo-like.

    @esme what do you think someone with her talents would do? Marry the garbage man?

    Like I said, I’m not judging these women. But whatever their reasons, Annabelle and Joan clearly didn’t marry for love. And as for Joan, why NOT marry the garbage man IF she loved him.

    I may have been inclined to agree with you about Betty were it not for the scene where the lawyer lays out her poor options. She goes back home after that. Betty may have loved Don once, but I don’t think her reasons for staying are based on love now.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • And as for Joan, why NOT marry the garbage man IF she loved him.

      Because Joan has ambition and drive. Today, she'd put those qualities into her own career. But for Joan, she channeled it into finding a man who reflects that and putting her energy into promoting his career and his success.

  39. Eh, to me Minnie Mouse would symbolize the passive female role. ("Oh, Mickey!") Whereas a gypsy is more adventurous and aggressive. A better fit for the real Sally all around.

    Gypsy and hobo were staple costumes in the repertoire of us non-storebought kids. Other classics:

    Traveling salesman
    "Glamor girl"
    Nurse (one year the sister and I were nurse and patient. Yay jammies!)
    Soldier (if your Dad had an old uniform)
    Hippie
    Sheet ghost (I never did that one, but my cousins did)
    Witch
    Bride/princess

  40. My favorite Halloween costume ever was when I went dressed as a gypsy. My mother made the whole thing from her clothes and jewelery. It was fantastic. A detail in this episode that was particularly endearing for me.

    I saw the hobo and gypsy as (unrealized) parallels of Don and Betty: Don so desperately wants to let his inner hobo out and be loved for who he really is; Betty is searching for her inner gypsy so that she can experience who she really is (rather than the 2D image of a glamorous housewife) and be loved for that in turn.

  41. As I read this I begin to wonder why the coupling of gypsy and hobo. I'd never thought of it before. Gypsy's are born into their nomadic lives and live in very tight-knit traveling communities and have rich cultural traditions.

    Hobos are forced into their nomadic lives and, at least in popular imagination, travel alone or in groups formed of necessity–others in the boxcar, in the hobo jungle. Their traditions are born of necessity and fairly limited.

    Gypsies are exotic–when I think of a gypsy I don't think of prostitute, I think of fortune-teller. In your imagination they're dressed in rich colors and flashy jewelry.

    Hobos are walking "there but the grace of god go I" billboards.

    Both are free in the "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose" sense.

    I gotta say, I can't settle on how I want to apply any of this to episode 11!

  42. Aaand now that you've got this song perma-glued to my inner earhole, I'm now having a flashback to all the girls who dressed as Cher for Halloween.

  43. @20 esme,

    You said, "in the early 1960s, in many states, married women were not allowed to own property in their names. in other words, if a woman was married, she did not have the same property rights as her husband because she WAS a form of property, legally, by the way the laws were crafted."

    Married Women's Property Acts were law 100 years and more before the 1960s. (That is why Gene did not want Don's name in his will.) By the turn of the 20th century and certainly by WWI, women were entitled by law to their own earnings. Now, those laws in many states were interpreted by the courts to allow the husband to control all of the financial assets and income in a marriage. It wasn't what the law said but rather how it was applied. Even today, the legal interpretation of income and assets in a marriage and in divorce is evolving. Ownership and control are not the same thing in law or in life.

    Dressing "hippie" was kind of a costume thing when it was happening. πŸ™‚

  44. Sally could very easily be wearing the peasant blouse in a few years – the hippie generation. She echoes the "May Pole" Suzanne. So, a bit of foreshadowing. (also, Midge wore a similar peasant blouse in the Village while smoking pot and listening to Miles).

    Bizet's Carmen is a classic Gypsy role: aggressive, assertive; the way Don envisions his mother's sexually combative talk is similar to Suzanne's banter. A gypsy is not a prostitute, but lives outside society and is shunned. All this, plus the Sixties's "hippie look" foreshadowing, triggered inferences for me.

  45. Reading these latest posts made me realize that we first met Suzanne in full costume as May Queen. On the holiday that used to be the springtime complement to Halloween. Don't know what it means, but it's interesting.

  46. The real Suzanne (Suzanne Vaillanourt), who inspired Leonard Cohen's song, was a 'gypsy dancer' in Montreal and the muse for many beat poets in the early-mid 1960s. The real Suzanne Farrell (her stage name) was Balanchine's muse and began her rise to stardom in 1963, owing to her "magical, mysterious qualities" and "pure emotional honesty on stage."

    I don't know if that is significant here or not.

    Where we had Midge (another Bohemian) as a pretty rounded out character with a real personality in just a few scenes, almost a whole season of Suzanne leaves me with no sense at all of her 'self.' Although, she does remind me a bit of my 7th grade homeroom teacher (1962-63) who was at once too young, too sexy and too innocent to be teaching junior high.

  47. born in 1950: Married Women’s Property Acts were law 100 years and more before the 1960s.

    was that a federal statute? because I know of a real incident in which a woman in a particular state (in the south) was told that she could not hold property in her name in the 1960s because she was married to someone. would the state
    override a federal statute?

  48. @48 Chris, great observation, although it's true, we don't know what it means ; )

    I just realized one other thing. The kids wanted perfect costumes, but in the final scenes were content with what they had. Kinda like Don and Betty (at least in this moment).

  49. The first U.S. Married Women's Property Act was passed by Mississippi in 1839 and New York in 1848 enacted a statute that became a model for many other states. I think it is correct that all states had adopted statutes by 1900. Later in the 19th century, statutes were enacted that gave women individual rights to enter into contracts, own businesses, and receive their own earnings.

    However, these acts did not by any means give married women an independent economic existence. The states' legal systems differed, the acts differed, and each state court system interpreted the acts and developed its own precedents.

    The ownership of assets acquired in a marriage also is different from wealth and property owned before marriage or received by inheritance.

    In the example you know of, the woman probably could have accomplished what she wanted to do by means of a trust.

  50. #49 "The real Suzanne (Suzanne Vaillanourt), who inspired Leonard Cohen’s song, was a ‘gypsy dancer’ in Montreal and the muse for many beat poets in the early-mid 1960s. The real Suzanne Farrell (her stage name) was Balanchine’s muse and began her rise to stardom in 1963, owing to her “magical, mysterious qualitiesâ€Β and “pure emotional honesty on stage. I don’t know if that is significant here or not. "
    From an AMCTV interview with the actress who plays Suzanne Farrell (Abigail Spencer) states in an AMC interview:
    "Q: What's the reaction on the street to your character?
    A: What is so great about the show is so many of my friends are uber-fans. On Sunday night or Monday morning, every person I know will have some opinion about what happened on the show. At first, everyone thought I was going to be the new "Patio" girl. Then they thought, "You're a stalker, you're a bunny boiler." You just accept it because there's nothing you can say. Before shooting Episode 9, Matt told me to listen to a Leonard Cohen song, Suzanne. If you read the lyrics, you'll get it."

  51. @53

    Right. So I guessed at what I'm supposed to get from the character. But sadly, I don't. πŸ™

    I'd like to correct my typo. Suzanne's married surname was Vaillancourt at the time Cohen wrote the song.

  52. I've been rethinking Suzanne in the last couple weeks, trying to see her how Dick Whitman sees her, what she evokes in him. Your clue that Suzanne Farrell was the inspiration for Suzanne and confirmation that Matt has that song in mind encourages me. She first appears in Love Among the Ruins, and while Don reaching down to touch the grass is very much a D. H. Lawrence erotic symbol, I was also struck with Don trying to ground himself, and the reference to the Robert Browning poem is so expressive of the yearning to reach down below the hustle and bustle of the struggle for filthy lucre back to a deeper, lost or forgotten existence. I’ve got a lot from the hobo discussions elsewhere on this site, but I don’t think we’ve gotten anywhere near the gypsy motif yet.
    I ordered the book “Gypsies and the British Imagination, 1807-1930â€Β by Deborah Epstein Nord from Amazon tonight after reading “Gypsies were both idealized and reviled by Victorian and early-twentieth-century Britons. Associated with primitive desires, lawlessness, cunning, and sexual excess, Gypsies were also objects of antiquarian, literary, and anthropological interest. As Nord demonstrates, British writers and artists drew on Gypsy characters and plots to redefine and reconstruct cultural and racial difference, national and personal identity, and the individual's relationship to social and sexual orthodoxies. Gypsies were long associated with pastoral conventions and, in the nineteenth century, came to stand in for the ancient British past. Using myths of switched babies, Gypsy kidnappings, and the Gypsies' murky origins, authors projected onto Gypsies their own desires to escape convention and their anxieties about the ambiguities of identity.â€Β She develops how the gypsy became for poet Matthew Arnold “a focus for modern nostalgia, a pre-industrial figure untainted by the strange disease of modern life.â€Β
    I too was born in 50.

    Songs I’m thinking of listening to while I’m invoking the archtype:
    Goodbye and Hello by Tim Buckley
    Spanish Harlem Incident by Bob Dylan

  53. http://www.dreamsleep.net/meaning-of-gypsy-dream….
    Gypsy Dream Meaning
    Psychological Meaning: The gypsies are a mysterious people surrounded by legends and occult stories and may therefore represent your shadow- the undiscovered part of yourself. Alternatively, the dream may be suggesting that you look to the future. What will your circumstances be like in years to come if you continue as you are?

  54. @55

    Ah, yes, and Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.

    "… And your match-book songs and your gypsy hymns, Who among them would try to impress you?"

  55. Also, wouldn't these people have read D.H. Lawrence's, "The Virgin and the Gypsy?" (One of my favorites, and the movie as well — but that did not come out until 1970).

  56. Many women in Don's life are boheiman gypsy types on the edge of society.
    Anna is a "foutune teller". She offers to give don a reading with her tarot cards.
    Midge is a beat nick.
    There was the tryst wuth the rich girl in California.
    Suzanne is a free spirit.

  57. This is a minor thing, and maybe someone else has already noted it elsewhere, but concerning the costumes…I just re-watched the episode. Sally says the costume she wants is at Woolworth's, Don talks about store-bought costumes being crap. When it's time for them to leave, he picks up Sally to give her a hug, and sort of whispers in her ear "and they have a Woolworth's in Philly, too." So it sounds like he was giving in on the store-bought costumes, but they ended up with homemade after all.

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