A quick hit for fans of these two popular works:
I attended a talk this week where author Lilly J. Goren discussed her book Mad Men and Politics and suggested that Don Draper exists on the same continuum as Jay Gatsby. I concur:
- Both assumed different identities to make their fortune.
- Both enjoyed prestige in their communities.
- Both essentially came from nothing; self-made men.
- Both came from Midwest America.¹
Yet there’s one key difference: Whereas Gatsby did virtually everything for one woman (Daisy), Draper does everything for himself. Gatsby’s unrequited love for Daisy proved to be his undoing. Draper’s selfishness proved to be his downfall.
1 As a Midwesterner, it pleases me to see other Midwestern characters.