I enjoy good books and witty TV shows. And wouldn’t you know it, I found that two of my favorite pieces of entertainment that fall into these two categories resemble each other in surprising detail. Many of the characters in The Office resemble classic characters from Pride and Prejudice. Let’s go through them and see how they stack up.
Michael Scott – Mrs. Bennet
Let’s start with the head honcho, Michael Scott. He is completely deluded, and he thinks he’s in charge and helpful when he’s really an impediment to his employees’ success. He overreacts to every situation and finds a way to make even the most mundane things unbearably awkward. He is exactly like Mrs. Bennet. She screeches and howls at the smallest misfortune, and she immediately takes credit for any good thing that comes her way. The fact that two of her daughters marry well has nothing to do with her silly meddling.
Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly – Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth Bennet
The love story of Jim and Pam is the best part of The Office, so shouldn’t those two characters be the equivalent of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth? No, not really. It’s neither pride nor prejudice that keeps those two apart, but timidity and misunderstanding. Instead, Jim and Pam closely resemble Mr. Bennet and his daughter Elizabeth. Those two are constantly laughing at the ridiculous people around them. They do mature over time and realize that some things deserve to be taken seriously, but they retain most of their fun-loving qualities the whole way through the story.
David Wallace – Mr. Darcy
Mr. Darcy is a wonderful character, and he’s a tough one to pin down in The Office. The obvious choice would seem to be Dwight Schrute because he’s often meddling in other people’s affairs, and he experiences the biggest changes as a character throughout the show’s history. But this honor goes to David Wallace or possibly even Dunder Mifflin as a whole. David breaks up Michael’s romance with Holly for a time. He disappears for a long time from the story and when he returns he is a changed man. He is much kinder and more thoughtful. He even makes Dwight’s dream come true by making him manager of the Scranton branch, much like how Mr. Darcy makes Mr. Bingley’s dream come true by encouraging him to marry Jane.
Erin Hannon and Pete Miller – Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley
Jane is definitely smarter than Erin, but they both have a gift for always looking for the good in people, although this often leads to their unhappiness, at least temporarily, when people take advantage of their goodwill. Pete shows up in the final season of The Office, and he plays the part of the affable gentleman who quickly wins Erin’s heart. They are kept apart for a time, but true love wins out in the end.
Dwight Schrute and Angela Martin – Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas
Dwight is the perennial fool right to the end, much like Mr. Collins. Jim and Pam love to make fun of him and pull pranks on him as much as Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth love doing those things to Mr. Collins. Angela and Charlotte seem to be destined to become old maids until they finally settle for a silly but harmless man. Angela is damaged goods and a hypocrite while Charlotte is more of a pragmatic woman who has no illusions about finding true love. Charlotte is a sympathetic character while Angela is not, and their stories are bittersweet at best.
Ryan Howard and Kelly Kapoor – Mr. Wickham and Lydia Bennet
Ryan is an untrustworthy slimeball and Kelly is a ridiculous flirt. Remind you of anybody? They sure remind me of Mr. Wickham and Lydia. They even abscond together in the most irresponsible manner possible, much to their families’ chagrin.
Phyllis Lapin – Ms. Bingley
I’m just going to say it: Phyllis is a passive-aggressive jerk. She tries to come across as a sweet matronly figure, but in her heart she is a wicked stepmother. She is just like Ms. Bingley, who shrouds her insults in not-so-subtle sarcasm that usually comes back to bite her.
Jan Levinson – Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Jan Levinson considers herself to be above everyone else, especially Michael. At her baby shower, she tells Michael not to date Holly, and immediately after that Michael asks Holly on a date. Mr. Darcy also does the complete opposite of what his aunt Lady Catherine tells him to do and proposes to Elizabeth. Lady Catherine thought that simply voicing her distaste for Elizabeth’s low stature in life would be enough to dissuade Mr. Darcy from ever pursuing her. She and Jan are two ladies not worth listening to.
Stanley Hudson – Mr. Hurst
You can often find Mr. Hurst drunkenly sleeping in the background or completely oblivious to important conversations taking place within earshot. He’s a rather pathetic excuse for a man, much like Stanley Hudson, who sleepwalks through most of his time at work.
I love these kinds of connections because it makes me enjoy good entertainment even more to know that it closely resembles other things that mean a lot to me. And hopefully they strike a chord with you, too.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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