The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Topics: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber, Secret Life Pages: 2 (800 words) Published: July 29, 2008
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber is a story of a man who wishes for more then he has in life. By looking inside himself and using his imagination he is able to escape from every day life. His real life is mundane and repetitive, but by using his imagination he can experience things that few people ever get the chance to. People in the modern world do not have classic opportunities to be heroic; they often turn to living vicariously through characters in cinema.

Walter Mitty’s life is dreary and monotonous. Because of this, he will leave little to know imprint on the world. With no readily available opportunity to be exciting he must use his imagination to live a life completely opposite to the one he knows. In real life Mitty is a man who allows himself to be controlled by his wife. The simplest demand such as “Remember to get those overshoes while I’m getting my hair done” causes Walter to jump to attention and spend most of his day worrying about things he forgot. Mitty knows that if he does not do what his wife tells him, she will say something along the lines of “‘Where’s the what’s-its name?’ … ‘Don’t tell me you forgot the what’s-its-name?’” and that is the last thing he wants. If his life is going to be dull there is no need for it to also be unpleasant. Walter also knows that “she doesn’t like to get to the hotel first; she would want him to be their waiting for her as usual”. The “as usual” part indicates that not only is his life unexciting it is also mind-numbingly repetitive. To get through a melancholy day Wilson lets ordinary events spark heroic images and dialogue in his imaginative mind.

To make his existence more interesting and adventurous, Walter Mitty uses his imagination to picture himself in situations that he would never have the opportunity to experience in his run-of-the-mill life. In real life, Walter Mitty can be doing something as normal as driving a car, but in his mind he is always doing much more. While...
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