Jannie W. Shelnutt
ENG 125 Introduction to Literature
Dr. Paula Porter
June 17, 2012
Walter Mitty, an Avid Daydreamer
James Thurber is known for his humor in writing. “His most famous short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a single joke ingeniously sustained (Maddocks, 1985).” Who doesn’t daydream from time to time? In the short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, we learn that Walter Mitty is an avid daydreamer. This story tells of a aging man, who seems to be inept, at least in his wife’s eyes. Walter Mitty passes his day by immersing himself into a series of daydreams that take him into many different places where he is strong, and brave, and a leader who holds powerful roles in all that he does. Mitty is really looking for an escape from his mundane life. He is the epitome of a hen-pecked man. This story offers a comic perspective about what it is like to be in the life of Walter Mitty. The Humor seen in his “escape” where he compensates for his inability to complete tasks to his wife’s expectations, offers Mitty a chance to prove that he is competent and capable, regardless of what his wife thinks. The short story about Walter Mitty is a story about a man who cannot seem to get it right, no matter how hard he tried. He is aware of his deficiencies, and chooses to escape into his dream world, where everything he does is right. This paper will emphasize the imagery and symbolism that is found throughout this short story. With each daydream, Mitty feels confident and strong, which is exactly as he would like his wife to think of him. No matter how strong and powerful Walter Mitty feels that he is or can be, he always seems to be defeated by a woman, namely Mrs. Walter Mitty. Mitty dislikes the way he is treated by his wife, and other people, when in his mind, he is something much more than an ordinary old man. The theme throughout this story is that of dissatisfaction. “Wait...