Juxtaposition Of Walter Mitty

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Walter Mitty is representative of the modern man

“Mitty [Mit-ee] (noun)
(informal) a person who imagines that their life is full of excitement and adventures when it is in fact just ordinary.”

The Juxtaposition of real life events to daydreams are important features in the text in which we are led to question Walter’s sanity. The text both starts and ends in Walter’s fantasies, and he only comes back into the real world when someone pulls him out of them. Walter’s daydreams play such a vital role in the text to the point that we question whether he is living in the real world or not. This view on the contrast of Walter’s fantasies with real life scenes is also shared by someone who believes that “the plot of the fantasies themselves and
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Ironically, that desire to have more and to be more is what makes Walter Mitty so relatable even to this day. Elliott Smith points out that “although universal, daydreaming is regarded as somewhat askance, in the same way, Mitty has become universal although, in his waking context, he is without respect.” Like Smith mentions, daydreaming is a common thing that everyone does just like Walter Mitty is a ubiquitous character that the modern man can relate to. Walter Mitty is a character that many people pity for appears to live a very mediocre life in which he is trying to escape from. However, I believe that instead of viewing Walter Mitty as a character trying to escape the real world, Mitty is simply self-dramatising his perspective of the world with his own daydreams. This is something that everyone does, albeit not as distinctly as Mitty. The reason the transition …show more content…
As the great depression ended in 1939, many critics believes that this text is a screenshot of that time in society. Robert Amer is one critic who shares this view on the text as he believes that The Secret life “practically encloses the decade of the Depression and abound in images drawn from popular media, but also adventure fiction and tabloid journalism”. This is a typically dated belief that all of Mitty’s daydreams are inspired by stories during that era. However, all of the scenarios Thurber incorporates into the text are timeless; from the military officer to the staunch convict up for trial, all nine of Mitty’s daydreams are classic ideas and there is nothing to suggest that Mitty’s daydreams are representative of that time. In fact, James Thurber himself said that his wife suggested “that there should be nothing topical in the story. Well you know when your wife is right, You grouse around for a week, then you follow her advice.” Thurber has crafted Mitty into ‘everyman’ character and he uses timeless parodies to portray this. Amer also states that “Thurber’s remark, also takes in, I believe, most of the politicians of the period, from men like Herbert Hoover… to Franklin Roosevelt” Amer is referring to the fact that Mitty is always imagining himself in positions of power and although you could reasonably compare the man Mitty imagines himself to

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