The short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” written by James Thurber is about a man by the name of Walter Mitty and his wife known in the story as Mrs. Mitty. Walter is a man who tends to daydream allot and uses specific triggering objects to shape out his dreams. The story takes place in the early 1940’s in the United States but more specifically Waterbury Connecticut. This story is meant for the reader to easily identify the changes from realism to expressionism. What is realism? Realism is a quality that is given to a living and non-living objects or situations that help them match to real life. An example that was introduced in the story was: “Not so fast! You’re driving too fast! said Mrs Mitty. “What are you driving so fast for?” (Thurber 1). This event happens after Walter Mitty has his first day dream about him in a hydroplane flying through a treacherous storm. This occurrence does not express realism but expressionism. Expressionism is when the character goes through a event that is outside of reality like a dream. Expressionism is used in this story to show how accurate the dreams are to Walter Mitty’s trigger points. An example of when the story uses expressionism is “The cannonading has the wind up in young Raleigh, sir” Said the sergeant” (Thurber 4) This is the point in the book when Mrs. Mitty goes to the hairdresser and Mr. Mitty is reading an article about the Germans air force and that’s when Mr. Mitty goes into a daydream fighting off the Red Baron and the German air force. This part is known as a form of expressionism. The reason why realism and expressionism play such a big role in the plot of the story is because that is all the story is about and because this whole story is relatable to some people and their habits of daydreaming.
Down below the reader may see the extended part of the story. The triggers that Mr Mitty notices are: street performer with a Boa Constrictor and a radio announcement advertising of a contest to the vast Brazilian jungles. This leads to his final dream of Walter stuck in a Jeep face to face with a jaguar. As well the viewer can see a picture that represents one of the trigger point before Mr Mitty goes into his day dream.
Walter Mitty Daydream Six
He took one last drag of his cigarette and snapped it away. Then, with that faint fleeting smile playing about his lips, he faced the firing squad; erect and motionless, proud and disdainful, Walter Mitty the Undefeated, inscrutable to the last. The rifles cracked in the direction of the supposed convict, he stood there with a smug smile stretched across his face. Walter Mitty closed his eyes and prepared himself for the sheer pain, but did not feel much but a sharp sting across his face. That’s when Walter realized the burning sensation was a hard slap across the face from his wife. “Walter we need to go home its getting late” proclaimed his wife. Walter Mitty had no choice but to agree, so they began their walk back to the car. While on there way back Walter notices a street performer with a Boa constrictor showing off his amazing creature and letting people hold the snake. The crowd was surrounding him with vast curiosity. Walter Mitty took a peek over the shoulder of one of the on-lookers, but before he could get a good look Mrs. Mitty pulled him away. “Walter lets get home, I would like to cook some supper”. Mr. and Mrs. Mitty soon arrived at their car, sat down, turned on the radio and began to drive. Not long into their trip a contest for a vacation to the vast Brazilian jungles was announced. Walter Mitty then with great amazement found himself in a Jeep face to face with a jaguar. Its eyes glowed with such radiance it highlighted his whole face, The fur so black it reminded Walter of the soot from his fireplace his wife had been asking him to clean up. The jaguar stood latched on the hood of his car staring deep into his soul, Walter attempted to fire up the Jeep and escape, however it did not matter how many times he tried the car just backfired. As Walter Mitty was trying to plan his escape the jaguar pounced and all that Walter saw was white.
This is representing the additional part of the story when Mr Mitty was peeking over the shoulder of one of the on-lookers that was surrounding the performer with his Boa Constrictor.