I don’t know where I’m going
I don’t want to see …
I’m in perpetual motion
And the world below doesn’t matter much to me.
from This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks
Don Draper lives in the present. But now he is being forced to come up with a vision of the future for his firm, and he can’t. No one can really. He realizes that everyone’s suggestions are too petty, that advertising is too petty. He is trying to tackle the bigger problems while everyone, Peggy, Mathis, Sally, and even his real estate agent, is dumping on him. And it doesn’t seem to matter much to him.
Mathis calls him out for being handsome. He and Betty are two of a kind, using their beauty to get what they want, what they need. But, Don is ambivalent.
“Beauty! I cannot bear the thought that a man of noble heart and lofty mind sets out with the ideal of the Madonna and ends with the ideal of Sodom. What’s still more awful is that the man with the ideal of Sodom in his soul does not renounce the ideal of the Madonna, and in the bottom of his heart he may still be on fire, sincerely on fire, with longing for the beautiful ideal, just as in the days of his youthful innocence….Is there beauty in Sodom? Believe me, most men find their beauty in Sodom…. The dreadful thing is that beauty is not only terrifying but also mysterious. God and the Devil are fighting there, and their battlefield is the heart of man. But a man’s heart wants to speak only of its own ache.”
from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Sally sees the way her parents use their beauty, and it upsets her. She wants to get away, but Don won’t let her. He tells her “But you are like your mother and me. You’re gonna find that out. And you’re a very beautiful girl. It’s up to you to be more than that.” Don is speaking to himself as well. He is searching for the Madonna, but ending up in Sodom. The devil has been winning the battle, but who will win the war?