Do Mitty's daydreams occur when he is frustrated?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Certainly, one can see the convergence between the events in Mitty's life to his daydreams.  Yet, I don't think that his dreams are automatically and singularly triggered by his frustrations.  For example, his daydream about being in court is initiated by the calls of a newsie.  It does not seem that he is automatically frustrated into this dream.  It is here where I think that Thurber constructs an interesting characterization in Walter Mitty.  His condition of daydreaming is one that is a part of his own being.  Frustrations and the need to escape are potential motivating reasons why he enters his dream world.  Yet, I don't particularly see him as only going into his dream sequences because of frustration.  His daydreams occur out of frustration, but also out of the smallest embers of his daily life that could initiate a dream sequence.  Thurber might be suggesting that disenchantment and frustration do not solely immediately initiate daydreams, such as Mitty's.  Our desire to escape and enter a world in which we wish to be something else than what we are is not limited to frustration.  It can happen almost out of our own control, which is where Walter Mitty is seen in his daydreams.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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