How does the characterization of each person affect the meaning of the story, regardless of character type?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One meaning of the story has to do with the fact that Mitty feels the need to retreat into a fake world in order to feel successful. Throughout the story, readers see the relationship between Mitty and his wife as a trigger to his escapes into these day dreams. Mitty's wife serves as an overbearing and demanding woman who expects his prompt attention to her exact needs, as well as his agreement with her opinions and ideas. These features of her character seem to contribute to his fragile self-worth in reality, so a feature of his character is his defense mechanism to create new realities in his head. The ultimate conclusion of the story proves that none of the characters' traits prove worthwhile, because the final daydream depicts Mitty's doom, which is perhaps a metaphor for how life will turn out should these characters continue with their current lifestyles.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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