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A Brief Overview Of Walter Mitty

1575 words - 6 pages

A Brief Overview of Walter Mitty


In the short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber, many interesting fantasies occur in a way which brings the reader into a different world. The story switches back and forth from delusion to reality, dragging the reader into a life, perhaps similar to their own. In the beginning of this story, the first paragraph is a fantasy of the main character, Walter Mitty. It describes his life as a commander of an aircraft. An intense scene is displayed showing what Walter Mitty wishes would be reality. It is not until the next paragraph that one discovers this reality. His wife then interrupts the scene, bringing Walter Mitty back into his everyday life, one which is far less exciting to him. This happens several times throughout the story. Each time a different fantasy. From successful doctors too air plane commanders, each flashback was something that he obviously aspired too, however, was always interrupted with reality. This everyday life consists of dropping into town once a week to grab the regular household necessities. Throughout the story, his wife nags and reminds him about which items he must buy while he is in town. Through the paragraph’s of Walter’s reality world, the reader can see that he is sick of his wife’s constant nagging and wants to escape from this reality through his day dreams.

Formalistic Critical Approach for Walter Mitty

In the short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the formatting of the plot and the dialogue come hand in hand and are vital to making the story clear and concise but also interesting. Structure and organization is a key piece to the puzzle in this instance. When analyzing this story, the best critical approach would be the New Criticism Approach, or the Formalistic Approach. The way the story is written and the structural organization of it is vital to this particular story, as the use of flashbacks to reality scenarios fulfills the plot, character development, and setting in particular. The formalistic approach for analyzing this would be most appropriate in order to pick out the elements such as setting, irony, imagery and metaphorical factors. These are organized in such a way that the formatting consumes the story. In this tale, the first important element would be the introduction of the setting. Throughout the story, the author writes across multiple settings because of these flashbacks that he displays. The first setting would be on an airplane with two introductory characters; ‘The Commander’ and ‘Lieutenant Berg’. This beginning setting is seen as a guessing game to begin with as the dialogue becomes the most prominent use in this introduction. Once the setting is described more clearly as the paragraph moves forward, the reader will grasp an understanding of where these two characters are. However, soon after the reader’s mind may be clarified, the scene is interrupted with the dialogue of a new character, Mrs. Mitty. “...

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