9 September 2018
Walter Mitty Daydream Six
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” written by James Thurber, is a short story about a man who lives a simple and boring life, but escapes from reality by having adventurous dreams. Realism and expressionism play large roles in this short story, as they are opposing forces in Walter’s life. He escapes the reality of his dull existence by expressing himself through his dreams. Expressionism is a literary tool that is used to display memories, dreams and flashbacks of characters, whereas realism is the present time and situations that the character is in. To illustrate, realism is when Walter was told to put on gloves by his wife because it was cold outside in the present time. Expressionism occurred when Walter dreamed he was a famous surgeon operating on a very rich banker. Triggers in his real life, such as when he put his gloves on and passed by a hospital, caused him to express his longings for adventure in the form of a dream.
Walter stood against the wall, his legs trembling. He was standing in thick mud up to his ankles. He held his head high, careful not to show defeat. “On my count!” barked the sergeant. “Three, two, one!” BANG… “Walter! Let’s go, it’s freezing!” yelled his wife. The couple got back in the car and Walter drove in silence while his wife rambled on about the rudeness of the cashier. Travelling the narrow cobblestone road, Mrs. Mitty exclaimed, “Oh Walter, would you look at that! America’s most wanted: Frank Hatchett”…
The frigid air pierced Walter’s lungs as he took a ragged breath. He crept along the shadowy sidewalk, and turned the blind corner. Walter saw the familiar yet elusive figure he had been tracking for months. He was close. So close. Quickening his pace, he reached his hand into his left breast pocket and withdrew a small charcoal handgun. He crouched low, behind an rusty old dumpster and peered out from behind, careful to reveal only a sliver of his face. The figure continued to move so stealthily he could have been a mere shadow. Walter knew that this was his chance. He wouldn’t let Hatchett slip through his fingers this time. Silently taking a breath, Walter stepped out with his gun held out, and fired two shots at the figure. The shadow crumpled to the ground. With his gun still extended, Walter cautiously walked towards his victim. He gasped. Laying on the ground was the body of someone all too familiar, as he looked down into the glazed eyes of his wife. Click. An icy barrel pressed to his temple, and a raspy voice whispered “Goodnight”.