The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Topics: The New Yorker, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber / Pages: 3 (971 words) / Published: Dec 8th, 2014
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Marcus Wilson
English 125
Alex Vuilleumier
12/18/2013

In James Thurber 's short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," we encounter a man who constantly daydreams. Since the story is told in a third-person narration, the readers have a distinct perspective and a better understanding of the character 's personality and thought process. With access to the protagonist 's mind, the readers are able to understand and relate the significance of his dreams to his reality. Mitty 's dreams of being a highly regarded individual are contrast to his real life. The contradiction lays in the incompetence and lack of knowledge he truly possesses. As Dr. Mitty, he accomplishes “a brilliant performance “by writing a book on "streptothricocis" (819), a term which does not exist. The readers can come to two conclusions. The first being Mitty is not a highly educated man. He invents a word that sounds intelligent and complex in order to realize his fantasy. The second possibility involves Mitty imagining streptococci as some sort of new and rare disease. In this case Mitty would not be satisfied with being a simple doctor. Wanting to lead the way, he sees himself as a pioneer, as though he were the first physician who created breakthrough.
One of the most popular and respected humorists of the twentieth century, James Thurber was often called the Mark Twain of his era. Among his admirers were Ernest Hemingway and T. S. Eliot. Along with E. B. White, Robert Benchley, and other writers under the tutelage of New Yorker editor Harold Ross, Thurber set the standard for sophisticated humor and prose style for a generation of American readers and writers. His stories, essays, and drawings combine the mundane and the absurd to create characters and situations at once strange and familiar that continue to fascinate and amuse his audience.
Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1894, the second son of Charles and Mary Fisher Thurber. His parents,



References: Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Thurber, J. (1939). The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Columbus, Ohio: The New Yorker

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