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The comparative analysis of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Necklace - Essay Example

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James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” were created in different historical periods, in different states and completely different settings. The characters of these works experience different fates and the stories plots have different endings. …
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The comparative analysis of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Necklace
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To begin with, James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” have much in common thematically. Specifically, both of them examine relationships between a husband and a wife in a marriage. Even more, both stories center on roles played by major characters in marriage. For example, in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, James Thurber creates a portrayal of a marriage which is not typical at all. The protagonist Mr Walter Mitty is husband to a woman who plays a dominant role. The way she acts may even be called authoritarian. Besides, she bears the burden of duties typical for a male partner in a marriage. In particular, Mr Mitty’s wife runs the house. In this context, whatever happens, Mrs Mitty behaves as if she was Mr Mitty’s boss. At the same time, Mr Mitty is treated as if he was of a considerably lower status. Having taken up Mr Mitty’s role, his wife acts in a manner typical for a man rather than a woman. Respectively, Walter performs the role of a woman in marriage, a child, or whatever Mrs Mitty thinks he is. To illustrate, once Mrs Mitty returns home from the hairdresser’s and meets Walter in a hotel, she pushes him in shoulder and addresses her husband in a rough manner not typical for a woman. Because of this, their conversation looks more like quarrelling. For instance, “Something struck his shoulder. “I've been looking all over this hotel for you,” said Mrs. Mitty. “Why do you have to hide in this old chair? How did you expect me to find you?” “Things close in,” said Walter Mitty vaguely. “What?” Mrs. Mitty said. “Did you get the what's-its-name? The puppy biscuit? What's in that box?” (Thurber, 2011) The foregoing example and other examples in the story allow claiming that Mr Mitty’s wife has such character traits that evidence her masculinity. Apparently, she is a kind of a woman that is not likely to be admired by men. Indeed, her masculinity and acting in a manlike manner would divert any typical male. On a similar note, one of the themes explored by Guy de Maupassant in “The Necklace” is relationship as well as gender roles within marriage. Yet, the contrasting point is that the woman in the marriage portrayed in the story is very feminine. Unlike Mr Mitty’s spouse, Mathilde is described as “beautiful” as well as “charming”, the one who longs to be adored by men. Evidently, this desire is the greatest motive to get expensive things. For example, in the story “She had no dresses, no jewelry, nothing. And she loved nothing else; she felt herself made for that only. She would so much have liked to please, to be envied, to be seductive and sought after” (Maupassant, 2011). Apart from this, Mathilde’s femininity is demonstrated by her excessive sensitivity and overwhelming emotions. This adds up to her feminine image especially with the male-dominated world in the background. Also, both stories enjoy the common theme of escapism. To specify, in Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, escapism is the central theme. Walter Mitty is described as “a middle-aged, middle-class man who escapes from the routine drudgery of his suburban life ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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