“The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” written by James Thurber takes place in Waterbury Connecticut. During this short story the reader is introduced to two characters Walter Mitty and his wife, portrayed as Mrs. Mitty. Mrs Mitty is making all of Walters life decisions for him and Walter has only one way to escape his wife’s grasp by day dreaming. Throughout the short story the reader may realize the changes from realism to expressionism or in other worlds reality to his dreams. Walter uses different items he sees through out the story to influence his day dreams and life decisions. Farther into the story Walter ends up waiting for his wife by a drugstore and lights a cigarette, then he goes into his final dream where he is standing face to face with a firing squad. At the end of the story the reader is left with a cliffhanger ending. Bellow the viewer will see visual representations of the main events and how they have a connection to the story.
“You’re driving too fast!” Said Mrs Mitty. “What are you driving so fast for?” “Hmm?” said Walter Mitty. He looked at his wife, in the seat beside him, with shocked astonishment.”
This quote represents Mr. Mitty trying to escape his wife’s rule over his life by going into a daydream about himself flying a navy hydroplane through a heavy storm. This also shows how the relationship between Mr and Mrs Mitty is slowly breaking apart and how Mrs Mitty is starting to take over Walter life and choices.
Rising Action #1
“The crew, bending to their various tasks in the huge, hurtling eight-engine Navy hydroplane, looked at each other and grinned.”
The quote above represents the events occurring just after Walter Mitty and the crew escape the wrath of the storm and make it out alive. Right after this event Mrs. Mitty freaks out about him punching the gas on the streets and start yelling at him and controlling his attitude.
Rising Action #2
“I’ve read your book on streptotricosis” said Pritchard Mitford, shaking hands “A brilliant performance sir”
Above the viewer will see a photo of Mr Mitty’s new dream book. Mr Mitty gets congratulated for his excellent work in the field and the amount of time he has spent supporting the surgeons. Mr Mitty then goes on to do a operation on a millionaire banker. The things that lead into this story is the event of him driving past the hospital and putting on his driving gloves, apparently it made him feel like he was a real surgeon.
Rising Action #3
“Walter Mitty raised his hand briefly and the bickering attorneys where still”
This is Walters third dream he ends up in a court case with Walter being accused of killing a man. Mr Mitty’s attorney then reveals the fact that on the day of the shooting his defendant is not guilty because he couldn’t have shot the man because Walter was wearing a sling for his right arm at the time and Walter is right handed. So Mr. Mitty could not have shot the man from three-hundred feet with his non-dominant hand. The triggers for this dream is a news boy shouting the announcement of the Waterbury trials.
“Puppy biscuit”, said Walter Mitty. He stopped walking and the buildings of Waterbury rose up out of the misty courtroom and surrounded him again.”
The quote above shows the climax when Walter Mitty wakes up from his dream from the court room. Mr. Mitty then realizes he has to go buy Puppy biscuits and over-shoes from the store so his wife would not freak out on him and start yelling at him. This is a significant part of the story because a woman standing around Mr Mitty starts laughing at Mitty because he yelled out “Puppy Biscuits” this is when Walter realizes that other can hear what he does in his dreams.
“Walter Mitty lighted a cigarette. It began the rain, rain with sleet in it. He stood up against the wall of the drugstore, smoking…”
After confronting his wife, Walter is having a hard time controlling his dreams and his relationship with his wife. The rain is supposed to represent the wrath, control, depression and pressure he is under from his life and his torturous wife. This event leads into his final dream where he feels defeated and controlled but soon learns to accept it as is.
“He stood up against the wall of the drugstore, smoking… he put his shoulders back and his heels together. “To hell with the handkerchief,” said Walter Mitty scornfully.”
This the part when Walter Mitty said Enough and threw away his handkerchief in anger. The handkerchief is supposed to represent the relationship and connection between Mr and Mrs Mitty and the life they are going through. Since Walter threw away the handkerchief he did not care what Mrs Mitty had to say and did his own things.
“They’re so damn cocky, thought Walter Mitty, walking along Main Street;”
This story takes place in the city of Waterbury in Connecticut. But Walter Mitty is in my different setting in his dreams and while alone and with his wife.
‘”Something struck his shoulder. “I’ve been looking all over this hotel for you,’ said Mrs. Mitty.”…”‘I was thinking,’ said Walter Mitty. ‘Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?'”
This is the confrontation that Walter had with his wife about his dreaming habits. Through out the beginning of the story Walter does not know what is going on in real life but is more concentrated on the events happening in his dreams.
“‘I don’t need over shoes’ said Mitty. She put her mirror back into her bag. ‘We’ve been all through that’ She said getting out of the car.”
The conflict type that is going on through out the story is based upon the idea “Person vs Society”. Walter Mitty is starting to drift away more and more from society as he get further into detail into his dreams. Walter then starts to fight with his wife and the people around his about his dreaming habits.
“Then with a 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.”
This is the ending to the story and the final dream that Walter Mitty has before the ending becomes unresolved because the reader is not given almost any information about what happens to Walter after. Did he die? Did he survive? I guess the readers will not get to know after all.
“‘Hmm?’ Said Walter Mitty… ‘You where up to fifty-five.’ Walter Mitty drove on toward Waterbury in silence, the roar of the SN202 through the worst storm in twenty years of Navy flying fading in the remote, intimate airways of his mind.”
The type of irony that is portrayed here is dramatic irony. This is represented by Walter Mitty still thinking about the navy hydroplane after his wife scolded him of driving more that forty. Walter Mitty is so dazzled that he does not tell the difference between real life and his dreams. But with time the reader can identify them. This is ironic because the reader knows more than the character.
Example of Suspense
“‘If you wish,’ he said. They slipped a white gown on him; he adjusted a mask and drew on thin gloves; nurses handed him shining …”
Here in this quote we are left with questions what did he do in the surgery?, did he mess up?, what did he do to the patient? Using this type of suspense authors are able to hook the reader up and completely leave them hanging by a thread. This makes the what to read more and more through the book to see what happens.