The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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James Thurber “The Secret life of Walter Mitty”

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is an ordinary character who fills his mind with day dreams in which he sees himself as a hero, surgeon, jumps into enemy territory, and proves his manly strengths. Walter is trying to escape from the routines and humiliations he suffers in everyday life. The theme of success and failure is played out between the two characters Mr. and Mrs. Mitty in a weekly shopping trip to the city.

In this story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” plays out the theme of success and failure in his life with the inability to live a fulfilling life. The failure in life causes him to retreat to day dreams to live out fantasies of success. The theme of success and failure is examined through Mitty's inability to live a fulfilling external life, which causes him to retreat to an internal life full of images of conquest. Walter Mitty is neither exciting nor successful in his everyday life. In fact, the world Mitty lives in seems hellish to him. His wife's nagging voice awakens him from one dream. Like his wife, parking lot attendants and policemen admonish him, and women at the grocery store laugh at him. A bumbling, ineffectual man scorned by others, he feels humiliated by the knowing grins of garage mechanics who know he cannot take the chains off his car's tires. To avoid their sneers, he imagines taking the car into the garage with his arm in a sling so "they'll see I couldn't possibly take the chains off myself.''

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Summary 3 The Secret life of Walter Mitty by: James Thurber (1939) The Secret life of Walter Mitty by: James Thurber Describe what the theme of the short story is, using Chapter Seven of the text as a reference. The Secret life of Walter Mitty by: James Thurber Identify at least two of the literary elements in the short story that contribute to the theme (e.g., plot, point of view, tone, setting, character, symbolism, etc.), providing an...
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