The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Carl Gunther
Professor King
February 13, 2012

Walter Mitty is an imaginary character, but he reminds me of myself and many people that I know. The main focus of the story is Walter's behavior. Walter tends to get distracted from the real world and his normal life, sent into day-dreams in which he is more important. Walter uses his everyday interactions to make a fantasy world in which he is the main character during a drastic time, making him feel more important. While Walter goes in and out of day-dreams throughout the story he is not totally disconnected from reality but uses these day-dreams to cope with everyday situations.

This literary work captured my interest because Walter was jumping in and out of day-dreams always switching up the situation that he was in. The overall theme of this literary work was imagination, in which we, as the reader, dove into Mitty's day-dreams. This literary work reminded me of many of times that I have jumped into a day-dream during a particular event that was happening in the real world. While Mitty's everyday life seemed bland and mundane, his day-dreams were fantastic and interesting enough to keep the story going. While jumping into the real world of Mitty's life I was constantly interested and awaiting his next day-dream to see what was going to happen next.

One literary approach that is used in critical essays is the formalist approach. "This approach is most widely used in literary criticism; it focuses on the form and development of the literary work itself." (as cited in Clugston, 2010, section 16.2) Instead of focusing on the readers emotion and how the literary work made them feel this approach focuses on literary tools and techniques that the writer chooses to use. Some such techniques that are descried using this approach include: setting, characters, plot, figurative language, and the point of view that was used.

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