The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Literary Analysis

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Throughout time, people have been using their imagination as a way of refuge, where they can run away from the problems that come with being in the real world. This issue is well developed throughout the short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, written by James Thurber. The short story follows a middle aged man, Walter Mitty, as he goes through fantasies which involve him in situation that are far from his reality. People use imagination to put themselves in situation where they posses certain qualities or a lifestyle which they lack in the real world. Throughout the short story, Walter escapes into event-triggered fantasies in which he can do or be anything he wants to be. Walter uses his imagination to give himself certain qualities,…show more content…
After at a picture of bombing planes in an old copy of Liberty, Walter escapes into his fourth fantasy where he is the captain of a bomber plane in war. During this fantasy, Walter has to make critical decisions because his plane is under fire, and most of his soldiers suffer from shell shock. After receiving news from the sergeant that most of his soldiers suffer from shell shock, Captain walter decides, “ GEt him to bed.. With the others, I’ll fly alone… Somebody’s got to get that ammunition dump,” (Thurber, 711). In this quote, Captain Walter makes the decision to fly the bomber plane by himself in order to give his soldiers, who suffer from shell shock, some time to rest and recover. In this fantasy, Walter is the captain, meaning that he has charge (power and responsibility) over the lives of his crew and himself, and he is also able to make crucial decisions that affect his life and the lives of his soldiers. Walter’s fantasy is opposite to his reality where he has little to no charge of many aspects of his life. In his real life, most of the practical decisions in life are made for him by his wife, Mrs. Mitty. Writer, Ann Ferguson Mann further proves this point by writing about how much control and power Mrs. Mitty has over Walter Mitty’s life. Anne Ferguson Mann writes that Mrs. Mitty, “is there to keep him from driving too fast, to get him to wear his gloves and overshoes, to take him to the doctor,...free him from practical responsibilities of living”. (Mann, 352). In this quote, Ann Ferguson Mann is saying that Mrs. Mitty makes everyday life decisions for Walter and does not let him take charge of his own life and be responsible for his own life. Walter lacks charge of his life in reality, so he makes up for it in his
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