Michael Scott Character Analysis

Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell, is one of the most familiar television characters and yet one that does not undergo much analysis due to the genre in which he is presented. Herein, Michael Scott will be analyzed and discussed with a focus on the significance of his character for the show.

How Michael Scott Views Himself

Michael Scott

One of the interesting things about Michael Scott is the large gap between how he comes across and how he seems to view himself. Michael tends to view himself as a mixture of a great boss and an even more popular entertainer to the office. His relationship with his staff often blurs the line between a professional relationship and friendship, which causes difficulties because his staff are never quite sure in which capacity he is behaving.

This ultimately results in Michael having a kind of self-deception about the motives of those around him, for example when Pam is laughing at Jim during the Dundies he perceives her as laughing at his jokes. It also results in unrealistic expectations from corporate with the belief that they specifically admire him as a human being. This is most clearly seen when the previous manager, Ed Truck, dies and Michael believes corporate should pay for a statue in his honor.

How Michael Gets It Right

While Michael tends to deceive himself and often make a fool of himself, he also has many things right. The overall message of the Office is that work is not everything, and that the people around are important. Due to Michael focusing on being a friend to those around him, he sometimes comes through with great successes. For example, he makes a great sale alongside Jan by legitimately treating a client with humanity and respect. Furthermore, he plays a major role in uniting Pam and Jim in his own strange way by offering advice, such as his advice on the Booze Cruise for Jim to never give up. In this strange way Michael is a redeeming character in that we can at the very least see his positive motives, even when it goes wrong, and when he occasionally gets things right it results in a major success.

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