Wallter Mitty Case

Published: 2021-06-29 06:54:24
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Category: Book Reports

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Short stories can be hard to interpret at first glance because they are shorter than a novel. A short story gives a lot less detail and the author is usually trying to get a message or idea across to the reader. The use of literary devices is important because they can lead the reader into the direction the author has intended. You must look at the themes and how the literary devices support the themes because the character themselves allows the reader to glimpse into the human psyche, tone keeps the reader's attention within the plot, and uses of symbolism represent human behaviors thoughts and emotions.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber is a short story that contains themes of a man that is dissatisfied with his reality and feeling of powerlessness. He escapes his realities through daydreaming of being powerful, because in contrast he feels he has little power within his life and marriage. The story begins with Walter Mitty in his first daydream, where he is a commander flying a naval hydroplane in the middle of a storm. His heroic conquest is interrupted when Mrs. Mitty screams, ""Not so fast! You're driving too fast!-What are you driving so fast for?" She then insists that Walter Mitty wear his gloves and purchase new overshoes. He attempts to make an argument, but his wife's demands are not argued with. He drops her off at the hairdressers and a police officer shouts, "Pick it up, brother!" As Walter Mitty begins his errands he drives past a hospital, which transitions the reader into his next daydream. Here he imagines himself as great surgeon. This fantasy is interrupted by the parking lot attendant that yells, "Back it up, Mac!! Look out for that Buick!- Wrong lane, Mac". We then begin to receive a glimpse of Walter Mitty's thoughts which give us an insight to his frustrations and discontent. Thurber writes, "They're so damn cocky, thought Walter Mitty, walking along Main Street; they think they know everything. Once he had tried to take his chains off, outside New Milford, and he had got them wound around the axles. A man had had to come out in a wrecking car and unwind them, a young, grinning garageman. Since then Mrs. Mitty always made him drive to a garage to have the chains taken off. The next time, he thought, I'll wear my right arm in a sling; they won't grin at me then. I'll have my right arm in a sling and they'll see I couldn't possibly take the chains off myself. He kicked at the slush on the sidewalk." (Clugston, R. W., 2010) As he begins remembering the list of items he was instructed to gather by his wife, you can sense his continued frustration by the implication that he can never remember everything, and this makes his wife's nagging worse. Here again we are transitioned to Walter Mitty's third daydream when he hears the paperboy shouting about the Waterbury trial. This is Walter's way of trying to remember his wife's list of items. He imagines himself in a courtroom being questioned by a district attorney. His fantasy is interrupted by his recalling dog treats. After picking up the dog treats he notices that time is running out and that he must get back before his wife is out of the hair dresser appointment. As he sits in the lobby and picks up a an article to read he sees pictures of war and begins his fourth daydream. Here Walter Mitty is a Captain volunteering to fly a plane alone even though it is meant for two pilots. This fantasy is interrupted by his wife Mrs. Mitty, "I've been looking all over this hotel for you,"- Why do you have to hide in this old chair? How did you expect me to find you?" Here we see more nagging that Walter Mitty is forced to endure by his wife. When he tries to talk back and stand up for himself, his wife makes the comment that she will have to check his temperature when they get home. His last daydream begins when he lights a cigarette waiting for his wife. He imagines himself facing a firing squad, thus concluding James Thurber's short story.

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