ENG 125 week 1 assignment The Secret Life of Walter Mitty analytical paper


English 125 Introduction to Literature



Not everyone can say that they have a disability, but then again, who would want to say they have one. The character Walter Mitty created by James Thurber in the fictional story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, had a disability that he did not allow for it to stop him from achieving his career goals of becoming a journalist. All throughout his life, Walter was a daydreamer. He would constantly daydream at the oddest of moments. Walter Mitty daydreamed to get away from reality, to be a hero instead of a handicapped person; it was a way for him to be bigger than what he felt.

The literary work captures my interest because it reminds me of someone I knew back in high school. That person that I knew back in high school had lost an eye and it was heard for me to look him into his eyes and to talk to him. It was hard on me as his friend because it was a hurtful thing that had happen to him. Walter Mitty always daydreamed about being someone of importance, a commander, a famous surgeon, an accused witness in a courtroom trial, and a captain in a war plane facing heavy enemy artillery. Mitty imagined himself facing a firing squad bravely. That’s how all his daydreaming episodes turned out to be, he was helping someone instead of receiving help from others.

I know at times I had to receive help from others and I know how it feels when you are helping others than receiving it such as when Walter Mitty was daydreaming about being a commander. When he was daydreaming about being a commander he still didn’t have both his eyes, which mean he was portraying himself as he is, only as a hero. This inclines that he has accepted his disability but has not accepted the light in which people look at him. I can relate to this because I accept the fact that I am 5’2’’ but I haven’t accepted the fact that people think I am shorter than I really am.

I can interpret this work as being an inspirational story. This is because in the story Walter dreamed of being in so many different professions that highlighted how great of a person he could be if given the chance. For example when he was daydreaming about being a surgeon, what he was thinking about before he started daydreaming was him getting orders right when his wife asked him to get something from the store, how they are hand in hand is by they both require opportunity and time. I can say that I have never had a disability but the feeling of having one is similar to how people treat you when they feel you are different from them. If you look at the diction within the text you can see that there is a rhythmic tone of heroism.

I think what Thurber was trying to do was give his readers a laugh at the same time relate it to everyone with his universal theme of dependency and a safe way to get away from reality. This relates to me because at some point in my life I had to depend on others to get by. It’s not like being dependent on others is a bad thing but it is a nice feeling when you help others instead of others constantly helping you. That is what I like about this story; it shows perspective from two angles, a dependent angle and an independent angle. It allows you to gain courage in daydreaming to get away from reality for a little while instead of feeling ashamed about it.

The feeling of being bigger than what you feel is remarkable. To have things be better because of you is an even greater feeling. That is what Walter wanted, and that is what he got by daydreaming. It kept him sane and ready to work. It allowed for him to enter a world where he felt safe and better than what he was; it gave him hope to go on; to accept the things that he could not change, and to move on with his life and to not dwindle on the past.


Journey into Literature

Ashford University


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