The Function of Fantasies in Walter Mitty Walter Mitty is an irresponsible, incapable, and a somewhat plain person. Consequently, his fantasies allow him to feel the opposite of reality: capable, reliable, and exciting. In one fantasy he is a world renowned doctor. In a second fantasy he is a commander on a ship. Another fantasy for Walter Mitty is when he sees himself as a criminal being tried for murder. Finally, one of his fantasies is when he is a captain getting ready to run into a battle. In this first fantasy, Walter Mitty sees himself as a Commander in the Navy. On page 545, Commander Mitty is on an extremely large ship, in the middle of a terrible storm. “We’re going through!”, which means the ship is going to be able to make it out of the storm. As Commander Mitty continues to give commands to his crew, and they all follow obediently, he is feeling strong and able. They have confidence in his leadership as they shout, “The Old man’ll get us through, the Old man ain’t afraid of Hell!” They believe that Commander Mitty will get them through the storm, because he is not afraid of anything. In his fantasy, he exhibits qualities of bravery and skilled leadership. He comes out of this fantasy as Mrs. Mitty is scolding him for driving too fast. His reality of being incompetent is opposite of his fantasy in which he is fearless and able.
In the second fantasy, Walter Mitty is a famous surgeon who has written a popular book for doctors. In this fantasy, he is in the operating room while the other doctors are having a hard time working on a millionaire banker patient, who happens to be a friend of President Roosevelt. First an intern shouts that a machine is breaking and, “There is no one in the East who knows how to fix it?” Dr. Mitty springs to action and fixes the complicated machine with a pen, no less. In this fantasy, he is well-respected, calm, confident, and extremely skillful. As time goes on the...
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