The Gilligan's Island Connection

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailor man, the skipper brave and sure. Five passengers set sail that day for a three-hour tour.

A three-hour tour.

The weather started getting rough; the tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost. The ship struck ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle, with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann, here on Gilligan's isle."


In 1965, the American public was first treated to the whimsical story of Gilligan and six other hapless castaways, trapped on a small Pacific island after their pleasure cruise ends in a violent shipwreck. During the show's three-year run (ninety-eight episodes), the island's inhabitants attempted to leave the island by broadcasting radio messages, sending smoke signals, repairing the Minnow, building a raft, and fixing a deep diving suit to permit Gilligan to walk along the ocean floor back to Hawaii. They were visited by headhunters, a wayward trans-atlantic stunt pilot, and astronauts in a returning moon capsule. A television special brought the entire Harlem Globe Trotters to the island. Yet the castaways were strangely unable to get off the island, apparently doomed to spend eternity in each other's company.

In fact, what seemed to be perfectly disarming, if somewhat frustrating, situation comedy was a representation of a Sartre-like nether-world in which the characters represent the Seven Deadly Sins, forced in the days after Armageddon (in the form of the Flood) to live in unceasing torment with each other. The viewers witness the characters' eternal damnation through Gilligan, a name derived from the Scottish "gillie", a hunting or fishing guide. Also symbolizing the sin of Sloth, Gilligan has fallen among the other sinners through his own inability or unwillingness to escape. In the show, it is almost always Gilligan who unwittingly sabotages the castaways' attempts at rescue.

One interpretation of the Gilligan's Island/Deadly Sins correspondence:
Pride - the Professor
Covetousness - Mr. Howell
Lust - Ginger
Anger - Mrs. Howell
Gluttony - the Skipper
Envy - Mary Ann
Sloth - Gilligan


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