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Mort Du Gilligan

For his time, William Shakespeare wasn't considered all that hot a writer. His plays were thought to pander to the vulgar masses being at the same time the modern day equivalent of either Soap Operas or Sit cons. Bob Denver's passing made me wonder if in three or four hundred years time Gilligan's Island won't be considered the pinnacle of the Dramatic Arts, much as the Bard's plays are considered now.

Think about it: In three or four hundred years time, no one will really understand twentieth century English, anymore than we understand Elizabethan English. We think Shakespeare is so great mostly because we don't know what the hell they're friggin' talking about, you know, all those 'Hither's' and ' thee's' and 'yon's". So, we all pretend we do and nod solemnly and praise the 'beautiful' language when we really don't want to look stupid. Centuries from now it will be the same with Gilligan's Island. Our descendents will be 'oohing' and 'ahhing' over the beautiful language of this show.

As envisioned by creator Sherwood Schwartz, Gilligan's Island was meant to be Social Commentary using the metaphor of cast-a-ways trapped on an island, each one of the cast-a-ways was iconic of an American segment of society. The interaction between the characters would be symbolic of the interaction in our cultures. Thus, you have Mr. Howell and his wife representing the American Upper classes, The Skipper representing the working classes, The professor representing the intelligentsia, Ginger the entertainment sector, Mary Ann the rural Midwest and Gilligan ... all of us. Gilligan was the American Everyman.

As with The Tempest, the island setting represented the deep psychological underpinnings of the story. Here you have a world unto itself separated from civilization, a Hobbesian state of nature where life is nasty, brutish and short. Thus it is human nature itself.

By the way, if you're a High School or College student looking for stuff to steal for a term paper ... go ahead and steal this. None of these ideas are mine, anyways. And it's not really plagiarism if it's already been copied from somewhere else in the first place, so feel free to use this all you want. What's that? Just a second .....

Oh. I just found out it is plagiarism. I'm sorry. My Bad.

There also is the Religious interpretation of Gilligan's Island. This interpretation has each of the cast-a-ways representing one of the seven deadly sins in a sort of morality play. The Howells represent Greed, of course. The Skipper represents Gluttony, that one's obvious, too. Gilligan is Sloth ... I think. Ginger is Vanity. The professor is pride, because he's so pround of how smart he is and Mary Ann .... she doesn't seem so sinful, but I know there was one that was supposed to represent her.

Bob Denver by all accounts was a very intelligent and talented actor. You'd have to think that it would take a genius to play the part of such a boob to perfection. Denver's career, I have to believe, must have been forever crippled by brilliance of his character portrayal, such that he was never offered another acting role of merit because he had forever captured that one role to perfection, and was condemned ever after to live in that twilight world of Conventions and Super Market openings.

Now, please remove your hats and sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...

About the Author: Steve Sommers new book, Evil Super-Villains Need Love, Too ... and other important wisdom, is available at
His novel, REXROI, is available at

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