How does Mitty feel about his real life errands in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Walter Mitty is a man who is tired of the ordinary. He dreams of something more to life. His life has turned out to be a mundane kind of existence. His wife nags him all the time and the errands he has to run he finds monotonous. I think this is why Walter has the extraordinary daydreams. He is trying to escape from his own reality. 

Walter and his wife run the errands they always run. Nothing ever changes in their daily lives. It is the same thing over and over again. Walter has become bored with his life. He is tired of the way his wife treats him. Walter dreams that he is a hero; his mind creates a way for him to escape his reality. James Thurber writes an intriguing short story looking inside the life of Walter Mitty.

The mind has a wonderful way of creating something that we all need. Walter Mitty needs to feel like what he did was important, so in his mind he creates the things he needs. His real life is just too boring and not exciting, so he daydreams of the things he wishes he has done or the things he wants to do. 

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Walter Mitty is exasperated by the errands that he is forced to run, and he finds these missions more taxing than the daredevil escapades he is involved with in his daydreams. The errands compound the fact that his faculties are in decline, as he seems to forget something each time:

 In a way he hated these weekly trips to town – he was always getting something wrong.

As Walter tries to remember the list of shopping he needs, he becomes frustrated that he cannot correctly recall all of the items. His wife will be sure to capitalize on his inadequacies and use his forgetfulness as another way to subjugate him-

 He gave it up. But she would remember it.


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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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