Book Report of the Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Topics: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The New Yorker, Short story Pages: 3 (1248 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Short Story Report of the Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Young people like to fancy such a beautiful and romantic love story when the one he or she loves cannot feel the same way as they feel in reality. He or she may have a wonderful date going to a cinema or eating outside. Then their relationship keep going and they became intimate friends. That is based on the ideal situation that one will imagine which is totally contradicted from the real world. Everyone wants to be success and respectful both on the business and their social life, but the realities are hard to tally with their expectation. The short story written by James Thurber called the Secret Life of Walter Mitty introduced us a kind of life leading by everyone. James Thurber (December 8, 1894 – November 2, 1961) was an America author, cartoonist and celebrated wit. He was best known by his cartoon and short stories. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Thurber#Bibliography Wikipedia, James Thurber, May 16, 2013) The theme of this fiction story is mainly about Mr. Walter escaping the failed real life and going in to his secret successful world of imagination. We all can be the heroes of this short story because no one refuses to build the perfect self-image in their own mind. At the beginning of the story, Mr. Walter as a Commander lead his Navy escaping from a storm. He is respectful by his crew. They thought he is the man who afraid of nothing. When the ship is moving forward on the ocean at full speed, a complaining by her wife that he is driving to fast interrupted his dream. Her wife asks him to buy some overshoes. On the road to the Waterbury, a cop asks him to wear the gloves. Next start the second story when he is passing the hospital. This time, he is a brilliant surgeon who deals with all kinds of emergencies during the operation. This daydream ended up with the shouting by the parking-lot attendant, because he jam the road. The attendant help Mr. Walter put his car in the right side...

Bibliography: Wikipedia, James Thurber, May 16, 2013) The theme of this fiction story is mainly about Mr. Walter escaping the failed real life and going in to his secret successful world of imagination. We all can be the heroes of this short story because no one refuses to build the perfect self-image in their own mind.
At the beginning of the story, Mr. Walter as a Commander lead his Navy escaping from a storm. He is respectful by his crew. They thought he is the man who afraid of nothing. When the ship is moving forward on the ocean at full speed, a complaining by her wife that he is driving to fast interrupted his dream. Her wife asks him to buy some overshoes. On the road to the Waterbury, a cop asks him to wear the gloves. Next start the second story when he is passing the hospital. This time, he is a brilliant surgeon who deals with all kinds of emergencies during the operation. This daydream ended up with the shouting by the parking-lot attendant, because he jam the road. The attendant help Mr. Walter put his car in the right side skillfully. Mr. Walter is resentful of the attendance’s skill of the car. He finds the shop to buy the overshoes but he cannot remember the other thing that his wife has told him to buy. The third dream begins when he hear the newsboy shouting. Mr. Walter is a skillful fireman in the courtroom caused a pandemonium. Walking out of the courtroom, he remembers what he should buy a biscuit for dog, but is teased by the woman passing him when hear he say “puppy biscuit”. This time he gets all the things done waiting for her wife in the lobby of the hotel. He picks up an old copy of newspaper looking at the picture of the booming, which bring him into another fantasy. He is a captain who bravely volunteers to destroy the ammunition dump. He came out of the dream when his wife struck his shoulder and complaining that she cannot find him. In the end of the story, Mr. Walter is facing a fire quart scornfully in his last dream. In the short story, Mr. Walter imagines himself the successful person but actually being cautious in his real life. Every time he escaping into his daydream and build a perfect self-image in the dream but end up with the interruption of the failure of the real world such as his wife’s demand, the yelling of the parking-lot attendance and the teasing of the others. The tone of the whole story is satire, which illustrated a coward image of Mr. Walter comparing to the image he build in his secret life of his fancy world. Mr. Walter is a daydreamer in the story and Mrs. Walter is so bossy and domineering. She often turns out to be the dream breaker of Mr. Walter pulling him back to the reality that he has to face. His wife is a humorous character, which is contrary to the general type of women. She acts like this just to illustrate Mr. Walter’s retreat of living a heroic life only in his imagination. (Source: http://www.shmoop.com/walter-mitty/mrs-mitty.html Shmoop, Secret life of Walter Mitty, Characters, Mrs.Walter May 16, 2013)
The story successfully shows the different personality of Mr. Walter in his dream and the reality in detail. In his own fancies influenced by his surrounding, he plays the role of the superhero. He is more heroic in his imagination but weak and useless in the reality. For example, he cannot take the chain off the tires indicates that he lack of the strength and poor skilled. He cannot have the ability to take care of such easy things and resent of the people who laugh at him. He fantasizes himself doing with guns and booms, which is considering “masculine”. But the fact is that he is buying the puppy biscuit and overshoes for his wife. Even the revolving door seems to mock him. It makes a strange sound when he pushes them. But he can do nothing about them, so he just escaping into his own world. Imaging himself a successful person counter the failure of the real world. Another reason why the story is appealing is that the content of those fancies are quite familiar with Americans. The story behind contents the culture meaning. For example, the military scene contains the cliché of in the war movies. The courtroom scene is coming from the low budget of 1940s mystery movie. The hospital scene is the pure soup opera. James Thurber used all the resource, which has culture meaning and familiar to the audience. He also used exaggeration and hilarious by misused and twist the word. (Source: http://www.doc88.com/p-678404441195.html doc88, the Critical overviews, May 16, 2013) Another creative things about this short story is that a strange sound “Pocketa-Pocketa-Pocketa…”appears few times in Mr. Walter’s fantasies. The sound of the “Navy hydroplane” he drives, the “new anesthetizer” gives away in his fancy about the brilliant surgeon. The sound might come from the engine of the car when he keeps fancying the story. The sound, which keeps appearing over and over again, may be a link between his real life and the fancies in his mind, and it leads a tangible, permanent element to Mr. Walter’s fancies. (Source: http://www.shmoop.com/walter-mitty/pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-symbol.html Shmoop, the Secret Lfe of Walter Mitty, Analysis, Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory, pocketa, pocketa, pocketa, May 17, 2013) I strongly recommend the short story to those who is like Mr. Walter loosing the interest and exciting toward the real life just because he is dominated by someone or cannot do things well. Dreaming about the ideal situation can be a method to release the pressure of failure or misfortune. Exceeding imagine the picture does not exist in the reality is a cheating and things will become worse and worse. The story is a warning and also a mirror. Reflecting the real side of the fact instead of the perfect but fake one.
Above all, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty gives us the secret life, which is all about the fancies in Mr. Walter’s imagination. It enlightened us though life is hard and full of adversities, do not benumb in a perfect imagination of your own world.
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