Fear stimulates my imagination

 Posted by on June 30, 2014 at 6:23 am  Mad Men, Season 1
Jun 302014

Fear stimulates my imagination.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 11.12.03 AM I had this quote on the brain tonight, because I am working on a tight deadline and I know how stimulating it is.

The quote is from Season 1, Episode 1: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. At the time, the quote seemed glib and witty, a sigh of relief and a show of confidence all at once.

In retrospect, though, we found out that it’s startlingly true. Time and again, Don has been driven by fear; riddled with fear, and made up lies, stories, alibis—often with a glib veneer of ease. But this is something we have learned more and more: Don is afraid. He lives on his own fear.


  3 Responses to “Fear stimulates my imagination”

  1. Yes!
    The poor kid that grew up in a whore house, ends up in Korea, fakes his own death, sweet talks his way into marriage and business has learned that the lie is better than the truth.
    I feel for young Dick Whitman.
    And Don Draper really cannot be known because of all the fabrications.
    Do you think it ends with Don abandoning his life and recreating Dick?

    I would love for him to become a writer.

  2. How much of Dick’s life as we have seen it is true? We know only his memories of this, they might be totally accurate or totally biased. But I do think they are true to what he believes is true. Having said that I would note that fear can be a call to action or a total paralysis of brain and body. I think it is fair to say that Dick/Don moves both physically and mentally when he is afraid. I also think the alcohol use is a way of tempering the fear. When he was happy, that is the first year of his marriage to Meghan, he wasn’t very creative. So maybe happy equals no fear equals non-creative?

    • It seems there are film conventions/customs for tipping off the viewer when flashbacks are real, dreams, delusions, etc. The Dick/Don flashbacks look to be shot to suggest “real” – to shoot this way for a delusion, rose-colored or otherwise, would seem to be unfairly deceptive.

      As for Don’s happy, unproductive, “love leave” – I gathered that had more to do with lacking motivation than fear. Since he became partner at the old “Sterling Coo”, he’s been cavalier about showing up to work and meetings on time. The only deadlines he respected were client pitch meetings – letting the account guys deal with all other aspects of other client meetings and contacts. He let Peggy do all of the heavy lifting during his extended honeymoon – not nice but Don’s not particlarly nice.

      I always thought he could turn it on (creative work) when he summoned it – he just didn’t bother for awhile post-Megan.

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