Don Draper is a confident, strong and mysterious man. In the first episode of the first season, by the final credits, the audience is left confused as to the life he leads and who he truly is. As episodes pass, it is revealed that he isn’t truly the man he claims to be. Rather than being Don Draper, ex-lieutenant of the Korean War who earned a purple heart, he is Dick Whitman, a lowly young man raised in a rural, poor house that stole his lieutenant’s identity upon his death.
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Although a great plot twist for the television series, it is extremely far fetched. Immediately I wondered how he could have possibly lead the rest of his entire life with never having been questioned. He is married, implying he would have to have a marriage license; he has a secure and reputable job, implying he would have to give proof of identity. At no point in time do these obvious conflicts pose Don Draper a problem. Most importantly, does he have a social security number? A social security number is assigned to every citizen, permanent and temporary resident of the United States. In today’s society, it is necessary to have your social security number in order to complete most forms whether it be for a job or even at a doctors. It would seem as though since the show is set in the sixties that maybe Social Security hadn’t been developed; however, in 1936 numbers began being issued, starting at the age of 14 (since it was only used for income taxes).
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I think this is a major flaw within the show. It is too unrealistic to accept that he is able to leave this life without every being caught.
Links referenced: http://www.ssa.gov/history