The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Topics: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Narrative, The New Yorker / Pages: 3 (999 words) / Published: May 5th, 2014
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” by James Thurber Walter Mitty is an imaginative man. The story takes place over the course of a shopping trip that is frequently interrupted by Walter’s daydreams. His daydreams all have him as the main character that has been thrown into extremely urgent situations. It begins with a daydream that Walter is an adventurous polite that is flying through an intense storm. In his next one, Walter Mitty is an experienced surgeon and is the only one who can save the patient on the operating table. Next, Walter Mitty daydreams that he is in a courtroom being cross-examined by an attorney general about a murder case. In his last dream, Walter Mitty dreams that he is a war hero who is in the middle of combat fighting off the enemy with his military buddies. Walter Mitty is abruptly woken up from all of these dreams by people and things in the world around home often to find that he has been carrying on with his life and the errands he is running. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” the central idea is that a person who has difficulty dealing with reality will sometimes escape into a fantasy world. The central idea is that a person who has difficulty dealing with reality will sometimes escape into a fantasy world is demonstrated in many ways throughout the story. Walter Mitty leads a dull and unfulfilling life under the control of his wife. As a way to deal with his wife, he has built fantasy worlds that he can slip into whenever he wants. It is clear he does not want to be interrupted from these fantasies when he snaps back at his wife at the end of the story for distracting him by saying, ”Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?” (Thurber). James Thurber, through the use of Walter Mitty’s character, demonstrates that when life is boring and unfulfilling, people will do what they can to cope with this. The two characters in this story are Walter Mitty and his wife. Mrs. Mitty is a



Cited: Thurber, James. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Analyzing Short Stories. Ed. Joseph Lostracco, et al. Iowa: Kendall Hunt, 2008. Print.

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