Even though its been eight years since ‘The Office’ ended, a lot of people still think that Dwight Schrute was a better character than Jim Halpert. Portrayed by John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson, the characters have been at loggerheads with each other throughout the show.
There is always a debate regarding the main character of the popular American sitcom, ‘The Office‘. The obvious choices would be the handsome Jim Halpert, whose love story with Pam Beesly forms an important storyline in the series. One character who has shown the most growth and has been a part of all the episodes is Dwight Schrute. Dwight is the only central character who gets everything he desired, at the end of the series and earns it in the process. However, the series has always focused more on Jim Halpert and his romance with Pam.
- Dwight Schrute seems to be a better character than Jim
- The show often seems to focus on Jim’s personal life
- Jim Halpert isn’t that likeable a character
Dwight and Jim are polar opposites by nature
When the series begins, Dwight is introduced as an unappealing weirdo who creeps people out. On the other hand, Jim is depicted as an underdog whose love for Pam and dedication makes him loveable. When we meet Dwight, we believe him to be nothing more than an annoying rule-following, authority-pleaser. He seems unappealing and unlikeable in every sense. He is loud, arrogant, and imagines himself to be the assistant to the regional manager, Michael Scott (Steve Carell). Other employees often have to tell him that he is not in fact in a position of such power. He is disliked and put down by the person who he defends the most – his boss.
Jim Halpert was actually a bully and we have proof!
In contrast to Dwight, Jim looks to be quiet, handsome, and a loveable young man. His innocent face, charming haircut, and his semi-casual appearance make the audience believe in him as a relatable hero. This is one reason why most viewers automatically root for Jim to succeed in wooing Pam. In fact, their “will they, won’t they” romance is a central storyline on ‘The Office’.
Dwight is shown as a rigid rule-follower
While Jim seems on first glance to be the male lead, Dwight’s staunch beliefs in upholding rules of the office and his eagerness to work hard are seen as a negative trait. As a result of this obvious differentiation, it becomes easy for us to defend Jim’s pranks. Even though Jim’s pranks and behaviour towards Dwight is often borderline bullying, we brush it off as harmless because he’s not mocking a person in our eyes, he’s mocking corporate ideals. The major trouble with this portrayal is the fact that Jim is, in reality, an example of someone with disruptive office behaviour.
Jim seems to care for little else besides keeping himself entertained and Pam impressed with his antics. It is obvious enough that all of his pranks have just one aim, they are meant to mock and humiliate Dwight. It becomes fairly clear as the series progresses that Jim is the token popular high school jock who is admired by the entire school, despite not being an academic achiever. Dwight is the outcast who does well academically and is mocked for it. Everything he does is seen with derisiveness, even if he stays away from the others.
Jim always overshadows Dwight
Dwight’s hard work makes him an ideal employee, but it is clear that he doesn’t pursue these laurels for the money. Rather, it is done because he wants to make things better. Contrasting this, when Jim gets promoted, he uses this power to be petty rather than make the workplace better. Unlike Dwight who works very hard to earn the meagre promotions he gets, Jim rarely makes efforts but ends up earning undeserved promotions. He doesn’t make things better for his colleagues, rather he uses his supervisor status to bully Dwight and make him do undignified and menial tasks. Many of the things that Dwight gets vilified for, during the course of the series, happen due to his desire to be appreciated by his colleagues.
Dwight is the hero because he tells us that it is okay to embrace your weakness like you would your strength. While Jim does grow out of his childish ways and becomes a better man, Dwight shows the most positive change and has a hero’s journey. Jim is the obvious antagonist to Dwight’s protagonist who pushes him to reveal his strength and grow.
Despite the many setbacks and struggles that he endures, Dwight is willing to grow and understand his faults, while making changes to them. No matter how many obstacles he faces, Dwight always strives to make Dunder Mifflin a good workplace for his colleagues. It should be noted that he is, in fact, the only character who is consistent in this goal from the beginning of the show. Dwight Schrute is the hero of ‘The Office’ and it is really unfortunate that we didn’t realize this sooner.
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