Monday, February 26, 2007

Dwight's Speech

Dwight’s Speech (Season 2, Episode 17)

Jim Halpert

Dwight Schrute

Dwight is Dunder-Mifflin’s salesman of the year and he can’t help but rub it in Jim’s face. Jim gets some payback when Dwight learns that he will have to give a speech in front of a crowd. Dwight freaks when he doesn’t know how and what he should be saying. After going to Michael with his problems, he gets nowhere. The pivotal point is Dwight’s insult to Jim, saying that he won’t go on his planned trip. Jim, hating the fact that Dwight is probably right, is more than willing to help him out with his problem. His advice is to wave his arms and pound his fists as much as possible. To help him out more, Jim takes some talking points out of a speech delivered by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Dwight freezes when the moment arises, but when Michael gets on stage and begins to tank, he steps up and does his duty. He pulls out his notes, breathes heavily, beats his fists on the stand and delivers a confusing opening line. Not only is his speech effective, the audience responds well to his hand motions. Continuing his tirade, he even fits in a maniacal laugh. Dwight continues with the same strategy, and ends up slaying the entire room.

9 – Dwight has never given a big speech before and Jim is aware. With Dwight’s delusions of his own authority, what better way to appeal to his likes than to act like a dictator? I half expected the scene to unfold with Dwight shouting German and giving the Hitler salute. He might have been all for it, after all, Dwight’s grandfather killed 20 men in World War II and spent two years in an Allied prison camp.

Length Taken
7 – The suggestion of beating and waving hands would have been great enough, but Jim kicked it up a notch by giving Dwight talking points straight from the source. Too bad for Jim they worked out as well as they did. Imagine if the opposite had happened to Dwight and the entire room hated the speech. Not only would Michael have been secretly happy, but Dwight could be branded as a traitor, plagiarizer and may have quit the company out of shame. If Jim could have achieved that, this grade would certainly be bumped up to a ten.

Special Award
Help by Hurting Award – If Jim would have known the eventual outcome of Dwight’s Speech, I doubt he would have given the tips that he did. Jim wanted nothing but pain and embarrassment, instead the salesmen of Dunder-Mifflin will always remember when Dwight shouted and beat on the stand.

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