sng magazine


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is an interesting piece of a story which was authored by James Thurber in 1939. The name “Walter Mitty” exists in the English language and refers to individuals who daydream and are not conscious of what is happening in the real world. The story revolves around a married man known as Mr. Walter Mitty. Thurber is of the opinion that human beings can use escape to attain a sense of personal dignity. In the story, Walter Mitty escapes the bantering of his wife in order to attain a sense of dignity. Mitty’s wife is not thrilled by the way Mitty is driving too fast. Besides, she criticizes his clothes, his memory and his nerves.


Mitty escapes into a myriad of fantasies when the condemnation of his increases. For instance, Mitty casts himself as a hero in romances and action adventure stories. On one occasion, when driving on the streets waiting for his dear wife, Mitty casts himself as “Dr. Mitty” who performs delicate surgeries. In another scenario, Mitty casts himself as a dangerous defendant in a murder case. Mitty is of the opinion that his life is disordered and unbalanced because other people make him feel worthless and low. These fantasies give Mitty a sense of dignity and relief in a world he considers unfair and cruel. The constant criticism from his wife and others humbles him. Mitty is in psychological turmoil. At one point, Mitty admits that he hates his weekly trips to town simply because he always gets something wrong. Mitty judges him harshly and considers himself disordered. In spite of the numerous setbacks in his life, Mitty considers himself inscrutable and undefeated. Mitty is described in the story as the man who lives in a dream world to escape from the humiliations which he suffers in his day-to-day activities.


Conclusively, it is evident from this short story that Mitty lives in the world of fantasies in order to escape the realities of life. In some of the occasions, Mitty casts himself as a dangerous defendant in a murder case and as “Dr. Mitty”. These fantasies give him solace and relief in a world he considers cruel and unfair. Indeed, this short story is regarded as one of the most memorable and entertaining episodes and is regarded by many scholars as an American classic.

 

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