Short Story Analysis
David C. Franklin
January 7, 2013
During my reading the short story I enjoyed the most is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber. In his writing Mr. Thurber uses lots of literary elements from third person limited to symbolism. His ability to go from the reality of life to a fantasy or dream without you even realizing is absolutely amazing.
Describe what the theme of the short story is, using Chapter Seven of the text as a reference.
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is all about a man that constantly day dreams. He loses touch with reality at every opportunity. Not quite sure if it is intentional or if he cannot stay in touch with what is actually going on around ...view middle of the document...
During this short story Mr. Thurber uses the element of the narrator’s point of view being from multiple characters that are actually just one character. Walter Mitty slips into day dreams where he is a different person each time. To start Walter is a Commander in the Navy in charge of an eight-engine Navy hydroplane. “"We're going through!" The Commander's voice was like thin ice breaking. He wore his full-dress uniform, with the heavily braided white cap pulled down rakishly over one cold gray eye. (Clugston, 2010)
Mr. Thurber uses multiple settings during this story everything from being on a Navy hydroplane to a trail in a court room. Each time the setting changes so does the character. “"Perhaps this will refresh your memory." The District Attorney suddenly thrust a heavy automatic at the quiet figure on the witness stand. "Have you ever seen this before?'' Walter Mitty took the gun and examined it expertly. "This is my Webley-Vickers 50.80," he said calmly. (Clugston, 2010)
Explain how the selected literary elements affect the narrative theme
The use of different characters and different settings is what keeps the reader drawn to the story. Each time the setting changes the character changes. The reader never really knows what the next dream, setting or character will be. And each time the settings and characters change Mr. Thurber takes the reader into detail of the dream, everything from what the characters are doing to what they are holding or wearing. The constant changes keeps your mind and interest in the story and you don’t want to stop reading until the end.
Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.