Mad Men: The Tragedy of Betty Draper

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  • Published on:  Sunday, May 13, 2018
  • Sign up for SKILLSHARE: | January Jones' Betty Draper from AMC's Mad Men is hardly the best mother ever. Watch to understand the tragic flaw in Betty’s character that kept her from excelling in parenthood or finding happiness. Support ScreenPrism on Patreon:

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  • The Take by ScreenPrism

     (May 13, 2018)

    Sign up for SKILLSHARE: ScreenPrism on Patreon: to keep up with our latest videos, and let us know what you want to see next!

  • Trevor Cormier

     (Oct 24, 2018)

    ScreenPrism.  Betty actually did the best she could under her personal limitations. Given the choice between the drudgery of a job and the emptiness of being looked after by a man, she made the best choice for herself. Two generations after the era of this show, women are still choosing the role of the housewife.   And they can no longer put the blame on ''the Patriarchy''.

  • Donald Draper

     (Oct 12, 2018)

    I'm sorry Birdie.

  • Alli C

     (Jul 15, 2018)

    I've always felt Betty is a hedonist forced to live the life of asceticism. Which seems odd, considering her wardrobe and jewelry, but not really. In her own words, she "likes hot dogs". She likes to eat, she likes to drink, she likes to try new, foreign foods. She loves to travel. She wants attention, admiration, and praise. She craves Don's time and loves the carnal side of their marriage. She loves being in the midst of the city. She adores parties, extravagance, and company. She thrives o...

  • Ceres

     (Feb 15, 2019)

    How can someone change this about themselves, I feel like this...

  • Tara

     (Feb 6, 2019)

    This was beautiful accurate and poetic. Great insight!

  • Nicki Pelazza

     (May 13, 2018)

    Betty Draper shooting at pigeons with a cigarette in her mouth is my aesthetics

  • Clementine Parker

     (Dec 5, 2018)

    This is amazing.

  • Chen's I cant believe

     (Nov 19, 2018)


  • Juliaoceania

     (May 13, 2018)

    For some reason the ending that Betty Draper received made me cry when I watched it. And I do not mean a few tears, I mean actually cry. Sure, she was a horrid person in many respects, but there was something about her I understood on some level. And I felt sad for her at the way Don treated her while they were married. The life he had with Megan was the life she actually wanted with him, and he stuck her in the country and isolated her, taking her out of her packaging when he needed her to entertain p...

  • sharksandsheep

     (11 hours ago)

    I just finished Mad Men for the first time. I bawled at Betty's ending. It was crazy, because I so strongly disliked her for much of the show... but I was really struck by how terribly sad her life was. I related to her a lot in those last 2 episodes, even though our lives aren't similar at all.

  • DoubleO88

     (Feb 25, 2019)

    +LovelyMiss90 She cheated on faithful Henry with Don, the man that cheated on her constantly, pretty horrid to me.

  • Roy Thingamajig

     (May 13, 2018)

    I feel like you can explore Don's relationship with women on the show. Basically his only successful ones were with Peggy and Anna Draper.

  • Rose Garcia

     (1 day ago)

    Yes, because he never slept with them. He had the Midas touch. Everyone he f..... got messed up.

  • lizzy brock

     (Nov 4, 2018)

    Rosamund Powell I’m in 100% agreement it was not her job - but i do think she would have done this, unlike his actual choices that he did pick. He picks individuals that help him w/ self defeat . I think we are in same agreement I’m just bad at explaining sometimes my bad ! He should be doing it himself but don definitely was written w/o those qualities :) i do believe however it’s a woman job(and mans) to balance one another :)


     (May 13, 2018)

    I think this video lacked the usually deep analysis for your videos, which are very good. Saying that she fails to change with the times isn’t entirely true imo. When she goes to college at the end of the series (and it really isn’t until the last few episodes) we see that she is so much happier just being out of the house a little bit more and focusing and something other than being a housewife. It was a little too late maybe, but she wasn’t going to college for a career, but an experience. It did cha...

  • angelpurple2000

     (Jan 30, 2019)

    Betty tried to change many times, she was just undermined. In season 1 she tried to resume her modeling careeer but it went wrong. Then she divorces Don after all the lied and emotional abuse, she thought marryng Henry woud make her life better but it wasn't enough. She was taugh that her place in this society was being a housewife and a mother, and that's it, and everyone around her corroborated this idea. In the end, she was trying something new, started a college, but she wasn't given the chance tod...

  • Redcatrobe

     (Jan 7, 2019)

    1chienandalou This was really well-articulated. I thought this video was being too harsh on Betty and punishing her for not being “feminist” enough. When in truth feminism is about empowering all women to make choices in their own lives & recognizing that women shouldn’t have to “put up a fight” when they are being oppressed. THEY are being oppressed by the system, therefore the system has to change, not the oppressed. Betty was where she was as a result of her conditioning. It’s a form of victim-b...

  • Swifty

     (Oct 25, 2018)

    I've always thought that Betty should never have become a mother. Not because she's a bad person like people seem to claim, but because it just wasn't for her. She should have had a life of travel, glamor, socializing, not suited for the prim, crisp, dutiful housewife. Betty thrives when she and Don go to Rome, and she gets to escape her suburban life and kids, and for a moment be that stunning woman in all black, ordering drinks in Italian, adored by men, and picking up the charming stranger. She is c...

  • John-Luke Durham

     (May 13, 2018)

    I do like this analysis but I think it ignores something crucial to Betty's character. The video assumes that Betty is entirely shallow with only an interest in keeping things looking perfect to the outside world. It's true but that doesn't mean she doesn't care for the people around her. I think about season six when Sally buys beer with a fake id and gets suspended. "The good is not beating the bad," Betty says. This says to us that Betty does love Sally, that she wants her to be a good per...

  • Gazzara5

     (Jan 29, 2019)

    Considering she was a slut and a drunk, Betty was one to talk.

  • Amber Spath

     (Dec 29, 2018)

    Honestly I think it was more about obedience than virture

  • LottieTheLurker

     (May 14, 2018)

    For once I'm going to have to slightly disagree. The tragedy is that she did change, but it was too late. And that killed not only her own growth, but the probability of a good relationship with her children, Sally mostly. Yes, Betty was very much a product of her own time and, just like the other women, at the beginning of the show she didn't know her own value. But unlike Peggy and Joan, who grew self-confidence through interactions with other supporting men in their life, nobody encouraged Betty in ...

  • LovelyMiss90

     (Sep 23, 2018)

    Wow! I couldn't agree more with you. Great analysis.

  • Alicia

     (May 25, 2018)

    They mentioned that by the time she goes to college and tries to change it's too late.

  • dawngrrrl

     (May 13, 2018)

    OML I love this! I have so many feelings about Betty Draper aka one of the greatest characters of all time. I just vibe with her on a spiritual level. Thank you for exploring how tragic she is. I only wish this was twice as long.

  • nickys34

     (5 days ago)

    +Erasmus B. Draggin America was vastly richer than your Communist shitholes. With your shitty Soviet apartments and no cars. And very little food. What nonsense are you talking about you brainwashed idiot? And American women got the vote before most Communist countries were established. And men that have women at home make more money than single men. It is teamwork you Communist losers and not battle of the sexes.