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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Office’s Dwight Schrute—Hero or Villain?

I love this character! Or at least I love what the writers have done with him. Dwight has always had a villainous side, and it came to the forefront when he killed Angela’s cat at the beginning of this season. After Angela broke up with him, the writers have clearly had some fun playing with Dwight’s evil side.

If you visit Tami Cowden’s website, you’ll find links to brief descriptions of the hero and heroine archetypes outlined in The Complete Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders. You can also learn about villains—heroes/heroines gone bad.

As a hero, Dwight is a Professor. Here’s the blurb from Tami’s website: coolly analytical, he knows every answer. He’s logical, introverted, and inflexible, but genuine about his feelings. At work, he likes cold, hard facts, thank you very much, but he's also honest and faithful, and won’t let you down.

What do we get when the professor lets us see his dark side? An Evil Genius.

Again, from Tami’s website, a description of the Evil Genius: the malevolent mastermind, he loves to show off his superior intelligence. Intellectual inferiors are contemptible to him and that includes just about everyone. Elaborate puzzles and experiments are his trademark. Don’t let him pull your strings—the game is always rigged in his favor.

In last week’s episode, “Branch Wars,” Dwight kept saying he wants to do something to someone’s eyes, and Jim’s genuine concern helps us buy into Dwight’s craziness. He wants to use real bombs on the office in Utica because “it’ll be so bad ass” and “we will burn Utica to the ground.”

Oh, Dwight.

His unwavering devotion to the company and the boss and his contempt for anyone who tries to malign them have been blended to create a wonderfully complex comic character.

In this episode I also loved the subtle way the writers introduced conflict into Jim and Pam’s relationship in this episode. Jim is shut out of The Finer Things Club because he monopolizes the conversation by trying to be funny. His reluctance to confront Karen in Utica made it obvious that while he’s in love with Pam, he’s still attracted to Karen. But he did the right thing by ‘fessing up to Pam, who already knew anyway, and she took pity on him by letting him join TFTC. And we saw how well that went :) Pam’s last line of the episode was a silent, apologetic “sorry” to Toby.

I understand that lots of finer things clubs have sprung up on Facebook. I don’t do Facebook but if I did, I’d be tempted to check them out!

Back soon,
Lee

1 comment:

Jeff Davis said...

Fans of Dwight, join me in petitioning Froggy 101 to become the office radio station for Amphibian Ark, a really worthy organization that needs everybody's help. Here's a post from my blog that explains it: http://frogmatters.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/will-froggy-101-step-up-and-support-amphibian-ark/