Ending an Era and the Dismantling of Narrative ‘Machinery’ in Mad Men’s Finale
This chapter uses the Mad Men series finale as a vantage point from which to explore the show’s narrative structure, examining how Mad Men’s thematic preoccupations with time and place helped sustain the show for seven seasons. Focusing on the final episodes of the series, the chapter considers how the same narrative ‘machinery’ that was used to produce an ongoing narrative is dismantled to achieve a sense of closure. Central to the study is an analysis of how Mad Men’s ending seeks to resolve the tension between linear and cyclical notions of temporality—a tension that is integral to its serial form and one that has been repeatedly expressed through the experiences of the show’s characters.
The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (NRF) towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at, are those of the author and are not necessarily to be attributed to the NRF.
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