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Literary Analysis on the Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber - Thesis Example

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The objective of the story was to primarily present the different dreams or fantasies of an individual in the person of Mitty and he successfully does this by the portrayal of the change in character according to what he was doing or what he saw. …
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Literary Analysis on the Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber
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Literary Analysis on the Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber Full James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a short story about the fantasies of a man so that the round character of Mitty presents different traits valuable to the completion of the story. On his first fantasy, Mitty is a commander in an 8-engine Navy Hydroplane, a dream he had while driving a car which could present a symbolic image to the reader connecting the events in his fantasies to his speeding up the car he was driving. To see the imagery, a reader has to have a closer look at the dramas in the story for him to understand and see what the author is trying to present. Emotional distance in the story is quite intense as the author unfolds the secret dreams of the main character which in turn grips the reader’s attention because of the changes in character as Mitty fantasizes. The objective of the story was to primarily present the different dreams or fantasies of an individual in the person of Mitty and he successfully does this by the portrayal of the change in character according to what he was doing or what he saw. For instance, Mitty was a commander of an aircraft while he was driving a car, then he was a doctor after passing by a hospital, an accused witness when he heard the newsboy shouting about the Waterbury trial and on went his different roles in different stages. With the mobility of the character in the story, the setting changes in accordance to his movements as well as his fantasies. Conflict in the story could be multiple considering the fantasies of the main character. In the first fantasy, the conflict would be between the humans and nature, being the hurricane. The anesthetizer bugging down presents a problem, his being accused of murder was something he had to fight in his third fantasy. Mitty facing heavy enemy artillery in the last and final fantasy was another conflict in the story. However, the real conflict would be the secret life of Walter Mitty which proves to be affecting his actions shown at the end of the story where his wife finds him in a place she claimed she would not have expected him to be. As the story ends, the fantasies do not seem to end which, psychologically speaking is not healthy anymore. Seriousness is the tone used by the author, with the condition of the main character as well as the fantasies presented; they are portrayed to be widely varied and serious. A commander, doctor, accused witness, captain and a candidate for firing squad are all serious characters Mitty played in his fantasies that really set the tone in the story. In addition to the serious tone of the author comes the presentation of a mystery in Mitty’s life as he fantasizes in a quite frequent basis. The theme of the story would be the dreamer character of Mitty who usually imagines himself to be of another character. This is presented in a broken manner with his awakenings as his wife or the city parking lot attendant speaks to him. In the entirety of the story, conversations are widely used as a part of the author’s way of expressing the theme. The use of vivid and imaginations when looking at the story as a whole, symbolizes the secret life of each individual. That in every one, there is the tendency of seeing oneself in an event playing a certain character not his true identity. Dreaming is not foreign to any man, rich or poor, young or old, male or female. Instead, this is a common circumstance that happens to all whether consciously or subconsciously. In other words, we are all dreamers but the question would be: ‘Would we contain our dreams or let our dreams contain us?’ One can always have a choice to take a grip of his dreams or let his fantasies take a grip of him and have a world of his own. The choice is left to one’s hands as it was in Mitty’s hands. Reference Clugston, R. Wayne. 2010. Journey into Literature. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Read More
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