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Literary Analysis Of "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty"

773 words - 4 pages

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, the power behind the imagination is revealed. The use of the narrative point of view, the clear juxtaposition of Mitty’s real life and imagination, as well as the diction, allegories, and symbolism used contribute to the theme in various ways.
The story is set in a third person limited omniscient narrative point of view and shows what Mitty is thinking as well as the general actions within the story. For example, when Mitty “drove past the hospital on his way to the parking lot” (Thurber 34), his imagination displaying him as a surgeon is shown and connections between his real life and fantasy life can be made. The ability to understand his mindset and ...view middle of the document...

In addition, Mitty uses the sound “pocketa-pocketa” (33) in various fantasies that take place. This implies that this sound is a sound from reality that he hears often and is incorporating it into his imaginative life. Other triggers include the mention of the Waterbury trial and the Germany war pictures. Another indicator of the transition between reality and fantasy would be the diction used. When Mitty is a surgeon, words like “obstreosis” (34) and “streptothricosis” (34) are used as medical terms for diseases when in reality they aren’t medical at all. When Dr. Renshaw says that “‘Coreopsis has set in’” (35) it is implied that it is some sort of extremely harmful or fatal medical condition when in reality coreopsis is a yellow flowered plant. This shows that Mitty doesn’t actually know what he is talking about and isn’t actually a real surgeon but a figment in his imagination. As stated earlier, there is a huge difference between who Mitty is in real life and who he is in his fantasies. In real life, he is soft spoken and cowers to his controlling wife but in his fantasies he is brave, bold, and confident thus indicating what Mitty would want to be. His fantasies embody what he deems as being a...

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