How is Walter Mitty jarred out of his first daydream?

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Thurber's short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was originally published in The New Yorker in March 1939. The story follows Walter and his wife on a normal day as the couple runs typical errands. Walter's daydreams are his way of escaping the humdrum events of the day. Each daydream coalesces events going around him with a more exciting version of himself.

His first daydream begins this pattern. In the daydream, he is driving a hydroplane instead of his car; the audience is introduced to him as a Commander wearing "his full-dress uniform, with the heavily braided white cap pulled down rakishly over one cold gray eye." He is jarred from his dream by the sound of his wife's voice criticizing his driving, “Not so fast! You’re driving too fast!” said Mrs. Mitty. “What are you driving so fast for?” Instantly we meet the real Walter Mitty: a husband on his way to Waterbury with his demanding wife.

Each dream gives us a glimpse of the life Mitty wants, but just like his real day-to-day life he's unable to fully achieve it.

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"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a very famous short story by James Thurber, first published in the year 1939. The story follows the titular character, Walter Mitty, as he goes through a very mundane day of driving and errands with his wife and daydreams about extraordinary situations in order to escape from his unsatisfying, humdrum life.

The story actually starts out directly in the middle of one of Walter's day dreams, where he imagines that he's a commander about to steer his "huge, hurtling eight-engined Navy hydroplane" through a hurricane, with his crew is cheering him on. As it turns out, in real life Walter is driving his car with his wife, Mrs. Mitty, in the passenger seat. It seems that Walter's imagination has had an impact on his driving, and Mrs. Mitty jars him out his daydream by yelling, "Not so fast! You're driving too fast!"

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