Daydreaming Essay

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Daydreaming: Walter Mitty Ki’Sha Jones ENG125 Shayla Gordon September 11, 2012 “In "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" James Thurber deals with a major American theme-the conflict between the individual and society. In Mitty's attempts to deal with social pressures and restrictions (represented by his wife); he follows in the path of Rip Van Winkle and Tom Sawyer. The qualities that Mitty dream-wishes for himself are those of the American frontier hero. The picture of Mitty is therefore simultaneously sad and amusing, for he is a man who is discontented, alienated, and doomed to a life of frustration. The American heroic tradition is as out of place in contemporary society as Mitty's visions of himself in action are unrealistic. His only recourse, therefore, given his inability to cope with a complex world, is to turn increasingly inward” (Lindner, 1974). The Secret Life of Walter Mitty captured my interest because I was curious to know what kind of life Walter Mitty lived. Mr. Mitty resides with his obnoxious wife in Waterbury, Connecticut. The genre of this story is a comedy about a man who spends much of his time running errands for his wife and daydreaming about issues in his life among dealing with his nagging wife and others that he come in contact with everyday. Mitty appears to be a coy individual who requires guidance from Mrs. Mitty to assist him with day to day living. “Remember to get those overshoes while I’m having my hair done, she said” (Clugston, 2010, p.17). I am using the formalist approach to analyze this short story. In his first daydream, Mr. Mitty was driving his wife into the city to her hair dresser appointment when he started daydreaming that he was a commander in an 8 engine Navy hydroplane. “Throw on the power lights! Rev her up to 8500! We’re going through!” (Clugston, 2010, p.16). As Mr. Mitty was daydreaming he was awakened

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