“Gilligan’s Island” A Model Of Democracy
With creator Sherwood Schwartz gone at 94, it’s time to remember, via Paul Cantor:
“Gilligan’s Island” reflected the political confidence of 1960s America in the midst of the Cold War. A representative group of Americans could be dropped anywhere on the planet and they would rule, creating a small-scale model of U.S. democracy and fending off a sampling of its enemies, from Soviet cosmonauts to a Japanese soldierstill fighting World War II to a Latin American dictator.
Gilligan is the perfect democratic hero because he has no claims to superiority. The Professor has wisdom; the Millionaire has money and social status; the Skipper has a kind of military authority as captain. Gilligan is the pure common man. And, of course, the only time the castaways hold an election, he is chosen as president. Throughout the series, Gilligan represents the triumph of the ordinary over the extraordinary.Click here for reuse options!
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