Why is Popeye a Sailor

Why is Popeye a Sailor

Popeye a Sailor

Why is Popeye a Sailor

Millions of people around the world are big fans of Popeye the sailor man, a cartoon series being telecast on TV in all parts of the world. As the name of the series indicates, Popeye is a sailor which is not very surprising as the character was conceived by the creator of the cartoon series way back in 1929 when sailor and seas held great importance in the world. However, the reason why Popeye, the central character of the series that started 10 years back and concentrated upon Olive Oyl and her family, has been shown a sailor is because Olive Oyl and her beau required crew for a ship they had taken on rent for a special purpose, and met Popeye and hired him as a sailor for the ship.

Popeye seems to be the most unlikely hero in a cartoon series especially when other characters seem to be smart and attractive with some even possessing super powers. He is short, balding, one eyed, toothless, illiterate sailor who is always muttering something to himself and is frustrated with life in general. However, he has a heart of gold and no questions can be raised about his morality. But no less unlike a heroine is Olive, his girlfriend who is thin as a board, taller than Popeye, and a gullible girl who falls to the guiles of Bluto, adversary of Popeye. Bluto is taller and stronger than Popeye and impresses Olive with his muscle power. Popeye, when he feels he cannot overcome the brute strength of Bluto, takes out a can of spinach and gulps down all its contents. He instantly gains super strength and muscle power to beat Bluto and save his girlfriend Olive.


The creator of the series, E. C. Segar chose spinach as the source of power for his hero as spinach was talked about a lot in those days as a rich source of iron. However, Segar used spinach as a weapon for Popeye as he believed it to be an abundant source of vitamin A, or beta carotene, as it is scientifically known. Beta carotene is known to provide instant strength and muscle power. So as soon as Popeye empties a can of spinach, he develops strength to beat Bluto, a man double his size. There is a cute looking baby called Sweat Pea in the series who many believe to be Popeye’s and Olive’s kid which is wrong as he is a kid Popeye found on his door step as an orphan.

But why so much talk about Popeye, his antecedents, and all other characters in the comic series? This is because 2012 is the diamond jubilee year of the series introduced by E. C. Segar in 1929 and the world is celebrating the 75th anniversary of this unsung hero. There is another motive and that is to popularize purchase and consumption of spinach, which is considered to very beneficial for human strength. This is why Popeye
memorabilia is being sold in different parts of the world.

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