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James Thurber's The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

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If you are like most people, you often find yourself in a daydream or simply thinking off somewhere else. People use daydreams to create an alternate, better world for themselves. Escaping reality, for many people, is easier than actually facing real life problems. James Thurber’s short story. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” uses daydreams and imaginations to escape reality. Walter Mitty is continuously finding himself in a daydream which relates to his surroundings. There are two different ways to perceive the message of the story; dreamers can’t make it in this world, or maybe dreams and fantasies can’t compensate for what really bothers us. Thurber uses the themes of dissatisfaction and a dwindling marriage to help portray how dependent…show more content…
We can see this to be very true in the case of Walter Mitty. It is evident that he can’t fully live in his reality. All the events in the story are an example of this. We can all see that Walter will do whatever he can to keep his daydreams going. For example, his wife tells him she is going to take his temperature when they get home when she catches him off in another world. ““Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?” She looked at him. “I’m going to take your temperature when I get you home,” she said” (Thurber). This implies that she might start to question his sanity while also trying to get him to reveal his fantasies. This would mean the end to Mitty’s daydreams. He then goes out onto the street while waiting for his wife and imagines himself in front of a firing squad. “ then, with that faint, fleeting smile playing about his lips, he faced the firing squad; erect and motionless, proud and disdainful “ (Thurber). This implies that Walter will never give up on his daydreams, even if they end up killing him. At the end he even calls himself “ Walter Mitty the undefeated, and inscrutable at…show more content…
Charles E. May. eNotes.com, Inc. 2004 enotes.com 21 Feb, 2016 Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Themes." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 21 Feb. 2016. Thurber, James. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Karima Kama. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: A Study Guide." The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: A Study Guide. Ed. Michael J. Cummings. 2009. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. Thurber, James. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." The New Yorker. 18 Mar. 1939. Web. 18 Feb.
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