A Literary Critic of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” Essay

The narrative “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a signifier of a short narrative genre assortment. This narrative was written by James Thurber. and published in The New Yorker in 1939 ( Clugston. 2010 ) . This is an challenging narrative of a daydreaming hubby. Walter Mitty. and his tyrannizing married woman as they run a few errands to town. I will do usage of literary unfavorable judgment by explicating my connexion to the narrative. analysing the significance of the narrative. and taking the formalized attack in discoursing James Thurber’s narrative.

My connexion to this narrative is strongly held by the fact that I am besides a woolgatherer. I will acknowledge this is a frustrating feature for others. but for one’s ego as good ; eventhough. the state of affairss discussed in the narrative seem rather humourous to the reader. Mr. Thurber presents the tone. or temper. of defeat throughout this narrative. As Walter is woolgathering and driving faster than Mrs. Mitty likes. she suddenly interrupts him. Although the reverie interruption for an case. he rapidly returns to his reverie. Mrs. Mitty is speedy to disrupt once more. “It’s one of your yearss. I wish you’d Lashkar-e-Taiba Dr. Renshaw expression you over. ” Her defeat is apparent because she thinks that something must be incorrect with him. Subsequently when Walter is non have oning his baseball mitts. Mrs. Mitty is certain he has lost them. James Thurber has reinforced her defeat.

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Walter’s defeat is expressed in the narrative several times every bit good. An case when a parking attender awakens Walter from another reverie. the narrative reads “Mitty becomes a small testy. ” When Walter makes several errors seeking to park the auto. the defeated attender tells him to “leave her sit at that place. I’ll put her away. ” When the attender parks the auto with some expertness. Walter replies “they’re so bloody cocky. they think they know everything. ” Probably the sharpest image portrayed in the narrative is when Mrs. Mitty is harassing Walter for non holding the sense to set on his overshoes. Walter’s reaction is one of self-defense stating “Does it of all time occur to you that I am sometimes believing. ” This set the tone that Walter is allowing his married woman know that merely because he may look lost. does non do him senseless. or that she needs to maintain after him the manner she does. As a woolgatherer myself. I have experienced some of the same defeats depicted in this narrative. so I connected with the narrative instantly.

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Now traveling on to the analysis of this narrative. there are several significances illustrated. Harmonizing to Koger. there are four subjects or significances conveyed through this narrative which are “the contrast between a human being’s hopes for life and its actuality. the power of the head or imaginativeness. the struggle between the person and authorization. and the dominance of engineering and philistinism in the twentieth century” ( Koger. 2004 ) . I agree that all of these subjects are displayed throughout the narrative ; nevertheless. I believe one has been overlooked. I feel that Walter Mitty may hold self-esteem issues that he is able to get the better of in his reverie or. even better. they do non be.

Many illustrations are evident contrasting one’s hopes and world. Walter’s “heroic ability” in his reverie versus his insufficiencies in the world of the narrative is one illustration ( Koger. 2004 ) . Another all right illustration is Mitty’s ability to get the hang engineering in his reverie versus his inability to steer his auto. or suitably unwind tyre ironss ( Koger. 2004 ) . Another illustration. of my ain agreement. is the assurance that is portrayed in the phantasies that do non be in the world. For illustration. in the first reverie he is a commanding officer taking charge of a ship and going through a storm versus being told to wait in forepart of the drug shop. in the rain. for his married woman as though he were a kid.

The power of the head and imaginativeness another subject to the narrative is exemplified through Mitty’s reveries. Mitty is able to get the better of every quandary he faces in world through his reverie. He becomes an expert of machinery. and he no longer frights authorization figures. but alternatively becomes an authorization figure. He even boosts his self-esteem by leting the phrase “the old adult male ain’t afraid of snake pit. ”

Self-esteem is an of import feature of the narrative. The character or storyteller may or may non reflect the author’s position ( Clugston. 2010 ) . However ; Thurber lost an oculus as a kid ( Clugston. 2010 ) . I find it really symbolic that in Walter Mitty’s first reverie ; the storyteller describes the commanding officer “with the to a great extent braided white cap pulled down raffishly over one cold grey oculus. ” I am inclined to believe that James Thurber may be the Walter Mitty in the narrative. That being said. I besides understand where the deficiency of assurance has played into the narrative. Mr. Thurber is able to cover his bad oculus through the words that he writes. Thompson describes Mitty as a “docile cipher muffled in beds of winter vesture with a chatty and overprotective married woman beside him” ( Thompson. 2008 ) . This is yet more grounds of the hapless self-esteem portrayed characteristically through Walter Mitty.

The formalized attack is “the most widely used in literary unfavorable judgment ; it focuses on the signifier and development of the literary work itself” ( Clugston. 2010 ) . The scene of the narrative is memorable because it is cold. and the characters must drive into town to run errands giving hints that the Mitty’s live in the state or a really little town. James Thurber besides creatively interrupts the reveries at their flood tide. adding to the jar back to world. This gives the readers a opportunity to acquire lost in the reverie. and be jolted back to world every bit good. Walter is described as a in-between aged adult male unhappy with his life. The grounds of his sadness is portrayed through his reverie where his life is about perfect.

Mrs. Mitty is described as a shrewish old adult female who is invariably frustrated with her husband’s absentmindedness. She is invariably stating him what to make and how to move. When he does non. she assumes he has fallen ill. Thurber besides uses the same simple phrases such as “pocketa-pocketa-pocketa” for every machine giving the reader the sense that in world. all machines have the same sum of value in Walter’s head. Using the simple fountain pen to repair an expensive piece of machinery besides gives hints to Walters’s deficiency of intelligence when it comes to engineering. The writer besides uses really expressed reveries leting the reader to understand how far Walter Mitty had escaped from world.

In decision. I have discussed my connexion. analyzed the significance. and taken a formalized attack to critic this fantastic piece of literature. The connexion to the narrative is easy to come by as every individual daydreams on occasion. The narrative consists of five different significances or subjects as I have discussed. I have besides discussed the several different literary actions and the artistic ability used to make an surprisingly humourous piece of art.

Clugston. R. W. ( 2010 ) . Journey into literature. San Diego. Calcium: Bridgepoint Education. Inc. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //content. ashford. edu/books/AUENG125. 10. 2/sections/ Koger. G. ( 2004 ) . Masterplots two: Short narrative series. revised edition. ( 2nd erectile dysfunction. erectile dysfunction. . Vol. 1 ) . United Kingdom ; England: Salem Press. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? Thompson. T. ( 2008 ) . “he sprang to the machine” : “the secret [ technological ] life of Walter mitty. ( 1 erectile dysfunction. . Vol. 41. pp. 110-115 ) . Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //web. ebscohost. com/lrc/detail? vid=5 & A ; hid=19 & A ; [ email protected ]& A ; bdata=JnNpdGU9bHJjLXBsdXM=

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