Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by author James Thurber is about Walter Mitty, an ordinary character that flocks his mind with fantasies in which he plays the hero who navigates through enemy territory, saves lives and faces a firing squad. The story is likely to have taken place in an ordinary town with hairdressers, hospitals and grocery stores for people to scurry about doing their everyday chores. Another important character is Walter’s wife who hovers, nags and controls Walter to complete frustration, which causes him to escape his mundane life into a gateway of fantasies lurking in his mind. Walter can be critically analyzed with a psychological approach, because of his impulsive imagination in comparison to his unadorned human psyche. Walter may be inept at many things like driving, simple mechanical tasks and remembering what his wife told him to do, but its Walter’s imagination that makes him a unique character. Mrs. Mitty questions Walter by saying, “You’re tensed up again…Its one of your days. I wish you’d let Dr.Renshaw look you over” (Thurber 1). Mrs. Mitty’s observation reveals that it is a common emotion for Walter to feel tense and that he has had days before where he has acted abnormal. When Mrs. Mitty wishes he would see the doctor, it shows that Walter feels he is normal and that his abnormality is caused by his wife’s nagging and frustration. Also, this blatantly shows that Walter Mitty suffers psychological daydreaming during the day, which causes him to feel tense in reality. A psychological approach analyzes how Walter’s unconscious desires cause him to forget things in reality. Walter struggles to remember what his wife had told him before she went to the hairdresser, he thought, “Kleenex, he thought, Squibb’s, razor blades? No. Tooth paste, toothbrush, bicarbonate, Carborundum, initiative and referendum? He gave up…” 
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