Dwight Schrute's The Office

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“Cocktails” is the seventeenth episode of the third season of The Office, and is written and directed by Greg Daniels and J.J. Abrams respectively. The Office is a comedy about the daily events that transpire in your every-day office, but no day is ever completely ordinary. One of the main draws to The Office is that every main character has some type of mental disorder. Dwight Schrute is one of the most well-loved characters in the show and appears to fall somewhere on the autistic spectrum. While Dwight Schrute exhibits some signs of realistic autistic behavior through a lack of social awareness, augmented attention to detail, and a lack of desire to engage socially, his symptoms are exaggerated to the point of reducing him to a mere stereotype.…show more content…
That being said, Dwight clearly displays some symptoms of autism, some of which are based in reality, but most are based in fiction. Dwight demonstrates a complete lack of social awareness multiple times throughout the episode. One sign of autism can be “verbal logical thinking” (Grandin). Dwight displays his logical thinking often in this episode. Less than thirty seconds into the episode, Dwight checks that Michael’s straightjacket is fastened securely by checking his groin first. A neurotypical person may check around the arms or legs to confirm, but Dwight felt that it would be most efficient to start from the bottom and work his way up. One of the more common stereotypical features of the autistic mind is that someone with autism may “inappropriately approach a social interaction by being passive, aggressive, or disruptive” (Mayo Clinic Staff). Dwight demonstrates his lack of a filter on numerous occasions, to the point where it feels greatly exaggerated. For instance, while a guest is eating shrimp, he comments “You know the line on top of the shrimp? That’s feces.” This is a fact that will hardly ever be appropriate for conversation, and certainly is not appropriate for a conversation at a classy affair while a guest is eating the shrimp. This quote is not only a good example for Dwight’s lack of a filter, but is also a good example for…show more content…
Early on in the cocktail party, Dwight asks David Wallace’s wife if he can have a tour of the house, but not before asking how many square feet it is. The first thing we see on this tour is Dwight immediately going to the bannisters and shaking them as hard as he can to check the quality. He pounds the walls of the house, looking for studs, and comments how the walls are shoddily made, and the studs are too far apart. He asks about a particular room and is told it is the guest bedroom, to which he comments on the fact that there is only one window with disdain. David’s wife has had enough and leaves, but not before Dwight asks if her pearl necklace is real. Dwight then takes initiative to lead his own tour, and roams the remainder of the house himself. He enters the room of a sleeping child, and the camera pans over to reveal him rocking in a chair, asking who made the chair, and what it was made of. Dwight’s self-lead tour ends with him on the roof checking the chimney, to which David notices, but is too exasperated to do anything about it. This whole section is just a barrage of social-awkwardness. It is a brilliantly written segment, as just when you think it can’t get any more absurd, it does. However no matter how well-written it is, it still is a stereotypical portrayal of autism. Once again, while somebody on the spectrum may be more interested about the

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