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The Curious Mind of Walter Mitty
Richard Gillette
ENG:125 Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Loretta Crosson
April 28, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a quirky tale about a man that seemingly is growing bored with the same routine activities that occupy his daily life. In order for him to deal with his frustration, he frequently drifts off into a fantasy sometimes unbeknownst to his wife and sometimes he isn’t aware because he is simply going through the motions of doing the same thing he has every day for years. What makes this story captivating for me was the connection I was able to make personally with the main character, Walter Mitty. There have been numerous times throughout my life I found myself bored with the routine day to day actions and would drift off into a daydream imagining myself in a different era or setting acting out some alter-ego I manifested with my head.
Right away the urgency as the Commander yelling commands to his Lieutenant as they are obviously in the heat of battle. Instantly I was drawn into Walter’s Dreamscape imagining the scenario unfolding with my imagination. Even though in that respect are some dramatic themes to set the tone of a more severe nature, we are promptly taken back to reality where he sees himself being called down for having yet another reoccurring fantasy by his seemingly nagging wife who has become rather tired of his lack of control when it comes to letting himself drift away. The vivid metaphors help let everything unfold showing that his daydreams are a stark contrast from his real life.
At first I didn’t know how to apply the required approach to do my essay, but after reading over the chapter and the story a second time I think it helped me understand Walter Mitty’s life better. Literature has been something I have always enjoyed, but art has always been a large component of my life because I am a really creative individual and I like making something that is solely my own. Growing up in the world today is quite different than when I was a kid in the 80’s because cable television was fairly new and being able to witness MTV give songs that I loved on the radio a different life with their colorful and sometimes odd music videos. Unlike children today that has laptops and cellular phone phones that inhibit their power to build up close friendships because they’ve become obsessed with the World Wide Web and social media networking that lets masses to almost act like celebrities in their own network. My mother would limit how much time we spent on the TV and insisted I play with the neighbor children. I can’t thank her enough because I hold fond memories of little adventures I would get into with my brother and cousin, we were like The Goonies. It is sad to see that children nowadays somehow find that boring and would rather be immersed in a video game or computer screen instead of exploring the world around them. Even though I find that my imagination and creativity are my favorite qualities about myself, I can willingly admit that they are also sometimes my worst enemy. There are times something will catch my attention briefly and I will just completely forget about the task at hand as I allow myself to get lost in a fantasy. That is why I felt a link with the character Walter Mitty when he is running errands with his wife and most of the time he’s not aware he is lost in the moment.
There is no denying that everyone will have a different impression from any story, some might feel empathy for the wife whose frustration causes her to nag at Walter almost as if she is talking to a child that won’t listen others will find her as part of the problem because she refuses to try to understand why he has gotten lost in daydreams so frequently. He is passive despite all of wife’s condescending remarks and instead of speaking up he channels his emotions while driving as “he raced the engine a little.” (Clugston, 2010, p.5) It’s quite possible that Walter had a strict childhood and never was able to act out any of his fantasies and at an early age he developed these random dreamscapes to feel young or alive. It is very frustrating when anyone has a hobby of pastime that they enjoy, only to have others make them feel like there is something wrong with them for being the way they are. I think of all the badgering he endured from his wife for being a daydreamer, the best response he offered her in his defense was simply, ““Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?” (Clugston, 2010)

REFERENCES:

Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.…...

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