Power vs Powerlesness

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The Power of Powerlessness This essay deals with power versus powerlessness in the short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is about a submissive man who is constantly dominated by the people around him, especially his wife, Mrs. Mitty. Mitty is a daydreamer and he uses his daydreams as an escape from his reality, creating fantasies where he is the person in power or the one admired. Mitty’s condition may be described as Attention Deficit Disorder, when he begins to daydream; he daydreams about everything he is lacking in real life, bravery, skill, confidence and superiority The word power refers to many different subjects, in this particular essay it will refer to having the ability to influence someone’s actions without resistance or influence the course of events. Powerlessness implies being without the ability to influence, ineffectual or helpless. Powerlessness may coincide with feelings of inadequacy, failure, weakness, incompetence and shortcomings. In this essay I shall be discussing Walter Mitty’s reality and daydreams and how each world represents powerlessness or power or rather how they give Mitty the feeling of being powerless or powerful. I shall also be looking at the events or characters in Walter Mitty’s reality, the prominent role of his wife her constant domination over him, the traffic cop and the valet and how each of them represents power and how they assert their power over Mitty and leaves him feeling powerless. Throughout the story Walter shifts between reality and his daydreams or his fantasy world. The shift is usually triggered by an event occurring in his real life that makes him feel inferior, the shift to his fantasy world is a coping mechanism and immediately puts him in a position of great power and importance, a commander and a surgeon. In the end Mitty’s position of
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