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The Seven Deadly Sins Of Gilligan
The Seven Deadly Sins of Gilligan's Island theory is quite simple. Each
of the seven characters on the island represents each of the seven
deadly sins. Now, this theory seems to fit upon initial inspection,
there are technical difficulties when you get down to THE MAN himself,
Run with me on this one...
Most obvious is the Professor, who fits PRIDE to a T. Any man who can
make a ham radio out of some wire and two coconuts has to be pretty
For the sin of ENVY we need look no further than Maryann, who may have worn
those skimpy little tops, but could never achieve Ginger's glamour. (As an
interesting and completely irrelevant side note, a nationwide survey of
college students a few years ago revealed that the professor
and Maryann were voted the most likely couple to have 'done it' on the
And who could doubt for a moment that Ginger is LUST incarnate? Sure, the
kids were supposed to think she was ACTING, but we all know what being
deprived episode after episode was doing to her. You know and I know that
glazed look wasn't boredom, my friends.
What kind of person takes a trunk full of money on a three-hour cruise?
Mr Howell gets my vote for GREED.
We are now left with three characters and three Deadly Sins. We have
Gilligan, the Skipper and Mrs Howell to whom we must match GLUTTONY,
SLOTH and ANGER. As you can see, there is a Gilligan problem here.
Certainly we can further eliminate Mrs Howell from this equation by
connecting her with SLOTH. She did nothing during her many years on the
island and everybody knows it.
This leaves ANGER and GLUTTONY, either of which the Skipper had no
shortage. He was, after all, a big guy with the tendency to hit Gilligan
with his hat at least once an episode. After much consideration, I have
decided that he can easily do double-duty, covering the two remaining
So here we have the Seven Deadly Sins trapped in an endlessly recurring
Hell of hope followed by denial and despair, forced to live with each other
in our TVs until the last re-run ends. And who is their captor?
What keeps them trapped there?
Gilligan is SATAN. Think about it.
And the scary part is, it makes sense!!!!!!!!!
RSPW's Resident Evil®
"Evil Knows No Boundries!!!"
AOL IM screenname: O N RVARK
And then there was more:
(sorry epbrown, I couldn't find the original attributes)
My Learned Colleague wrote:
>The island symbolizes society -- any modern western society. It presents
>a canvas for painting all of the issues of the latest, greatest
>countries. A simple vehicle with clear boundaries designed to remove all
>irrelevant, external stimuli from the story and its message. Simplify to
>The Skipper represents official government. His authority stems not so
>much from democratic election as from the traditional role and powers of
>a ship's captain. This historical precedent seems to convey his right to
>leadership more than any personal characteristics or qualifications. The
>castaways rely on this symbolic "right" to leadership to unofficially
>consent to his capacity as governor.
I disagree somewhat at this point. The Skipper doesn't represent
government, but rather the leader of government in the Western style.
Perceived as confident and powerful, almost divine (pointing to the
rudiments of how monarchies began), his power derives mostly from
everyone's desire to *not* take responsibility for the society. He
rules by abdication of the others. And like most leaders, he realizes
this is naive of them, since he takes little responsibility himself;
though in charge of the government (Gilligan) he frequently avows that
he has/had no control over government, and reprimands it as thoroughly
as his subjects, while maintaining the status quo (which includes his
power, of course).
About the gov't (Gilligan), you write:
>Gilligan, the Skipper's "little buddy", embodies every extraneous
>governmental agency, policy and program ever foisted on innocent people
>anywhere. It is "Gilligan's island." Gilligan is well-intentioned. He
>sincerely wants to help. Gilligan saves no exertion, refuses no
>absurdity, respects no boundary in his unceasing efforts to solve, or at
>least soften, any and all of the everyday problems of the castaways.
>More often than not Gilligan is the problem. At best he makes a bad
>situation worse. At worst, he makes a great situation completely
I counter, is this Gilligan's fault? Like most governments,
Gilligan is charged with the tasks of pleasing several segments of
society at once, even when they have cross-purposes and despite their
>The answer, of course, is that the islanders have become complacent.
>Gilligan performs almost all of the menial chores on the island. Because
>he is so often relied upon for the unpleasant or mundane, it seems
>strangely natural to everyone that this dependence extend to the vital.
>No one wants nuisance Gilligan or blundering Gilligan, but no one is
>willing to do away with utility Gilligan.
True. As in most societies, despite the displeasure of the people,
gov't is the cheapest, least-troublesome way to get the everyday tasks
of maintaining a society done. It is only when we rely on gov't for
"rescue" (like welfare, social security, health care and other
life-preserving tasks) that Gilligan/government fails. This is the
basis for my feeling that "Gilligan's Island" is an endorsement for
smaller government, and hence a tool of the GOP propaganda machine.
>The Howell's symbolize big business. Thurston and Lovey are indeed rich,
>but neither seem to possess any appreciable skill. They earned their
>wealth the oldest-fashioned way -- they inherited it. They are
>delusional, conniving, greedy, and corrupt. They would be ultimately
>doomed to failure if ever presented with the challenges and constraints
>of the real world or if they were merely called upon to compensate for
>their personal excesses.
Au contraire, mon frere. The Howells represent not the corruption
of big business, but the inequity of Western Taxation. Notice that the
Howells routinely consume more of Gilligan's resources (time) without
being charged more than the others (nothing). The Republican fantasy
of flat-taxation, without showing the short-comings of this plan in
the long term (more effort directed by Gilligan and the Skipper to
getting off the island, a benefit for all the citizens).
>The radio is a permanent fixation for the islanders. It is almost
>exclusively entrusted to "the Professor" who, of course, exemplifies
>science and academia. The Professor is highly educated and capable of
>amazing feats especially given the sparse raw materials and tooling
>available. To everyone's amazement, he routinely produces sophisticated
>forms of medicine, weaponry and labor-saving devices.
Again, the propaganda machine grinds into action. How like the GOP
to show Science and Academe to be incompetent without the guidance of
Business and/or Government. The Professor is off alone and
unsupervised, and his work is considered to be impractical. Had he
worked with the Government/Gilligan, the show implies, all the
castaways would have been saved. Possibly, but whose to say that after
he completed the repairs on the Minnow that the Professor wouldn't be
villainously slain so that Gilligan, The Skipper, and the Howells
>Mysteriously more complex than the Professor is the Ginger character.
>Blatantly her representation is that of sex-symbol. At once she seems to
>be a sign of hedonism and moral decay, but on closer inspection,
>Ginger's ethical code is much more elaborate. She recounts numerous
>tales of not resorting to the "casting couch" to further her career. She
>is willing to use her feminine wiles and seductive powers to solicit aid
>from outsiders, but she never actually fulfills any of her insinuated
Again, my colleague has missed the point: Ginger represents The
Media. Preoccupied with appearance (all those dresses), sex, and
herself, but missing the big picture and contributing nothing to the
society. Her wiles provide her access to Academe, but rather than
release new truths, she uses the information to make lipstick from
berries and nail polish from plant resins. Like the media, she
possesses the profound ability to *emulate* competence with her supply
of lab coats and phoney glasses, without the ability to gain it.
And note her lack of interest in Gilligan and the Skipper; a sign
to the proletariat that there are advantages to being rich and famous,
and thus giving some a reason to keep the old gov't in place rather
than revolt! Look! You can attain such a beautiful woman, you can
become rich through hard work and exploitation of assets! This is how
the GOP and other "rich people's parties" are able to broaden their
base of support.
>The most fascinating and delicious twist of Schwartz's tale is the
>relative obscurity of its central character -- Mary Ann. Her name is not
>in the title and as compared to the other characters, she is not often
>seen or heard. This lack of input is the very essence of the Mary Ann
>character. Some may think this kind, level-headed, lovable symbol of the
>heartland is insignificant to the story, but nothing could be further
>from the truth. In many ways Mary Ann is the story. More precisely, in
>times of critical decision making, Mary Ann's absence is the point.
>Mary Ann is easily the most well-adjusted of the characters. She
>exhibits a healthy sexuality, yet she is unquestionably moral and at the
>same time not hurtfully devout or judgmentally pious. She is the only
>truly competent individual on the island. She provides all that is
>necessary and essential for life. Full of blue-collar know-how, her
>rugged instincts move her to farm, cook and provide health care and
>other critical services.
>Her lack of self-confidence and doubt of self-worth coupled with an
>overly-inflated opinion of the others is all that keeps Mary Ann from
>asserting her rightful place as leader. This revolutionary theme of Mary
>Ann as most vital yet least compensated, most important yet least
>revered, most adept yet least trusted, is crucial to understanding the
>series. It is an attempt to show the common person the folly of their
>institutionalized reverence of traditional leadership and their
>legitimate legacy as masters of their own destiny.
True, Mary Ann is the Angel of the Proletariat. But note that she
is bunked with Ginger (the Media). While her own resources are more
than enough, she is constantly exposed to imagery saying that she is
far from the ideal. Despite her own voluptuous beauty, she is told
that she isn't tall enough, slender enough, smart enough to lead, and
so allows herself to be kept down. Despite the evidence of her true
power over the others, in her role as provider of food and basic
health care. Go to the Professor with a cut? What, and get diagnosed
with malaria? Go to Ginger for a meal? And get something worse than
malaria? Her role is crucial, which is why she must be ground down,
kept unloved and unsatisfied, so that she works for the hope of
joining the plane of the others.
Her own lot is similar to that of the entire show, in that a group
of people living in a carefree tropical paradise seek constantly to
escape, to return to a world of consumers and greed where paradise
only exists for the Howells/Repubicans.