Questions and Answers for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What are each of the five daydreams Walter Mitty has during "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?"

In the story's opening, Walter Mitty is driving in the car with his wife but daydreaming about being a Navy commander flying through a dangerous storm in a "SN202" with an admiring and devoted...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2017 10:05 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," how are each of Mitty's daydreams interrupted?

If there’s one thing Walter Mitty enjoys, it’s a good daydream. His fate, however, is seemingly to never be left alone to enjoy them. When one looks at the dullness of his life and the ways in...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2020 11:10 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What causes Walter Mitty's daydreams in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?

I believe that there are two possible answers to this question. One answer focuses on the more immediate question of what causes or triggers each imaginary fantasy, and the other answer looks...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2020 1:05 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," what is the main conflict? Why?

In the story, the main conflict is between Walter Mitty and his wife. This is because the entire story consists of Walter's desperate attempts to break free from his wife's control. To make his...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2016 6:54 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Describe Walter Mitty's wife in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." 

Walter's wife, known in the story as "Mrs. Mitty," treats Walter like an absent-minded child. She is overbearing, condescending, and critical towards Walter. But she is also Walter's link to the...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2013 4:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Describe each of the five characters Mitty daydreams himself to be. 

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", written by the great James Thurber for The New Yorker magazine, features an iconic daydreaming protagonist who imagines himself as several different characters....

Latest answer posted December 29, 2017 4:02 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What different type of literary devices are used in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?  

James Thurber's short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," a tale of a mediocre man whose fantasy life impinges upon real life, abounds with certain literary devices. Mock Jargon Thurber makes...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2012 6:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What are the characteristics of Walter Mitty in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber?

Walter Mitty is an ordinary man with an overly active imagination. He constantly daydreams about something more exciting than his current situation. The entire story is about a trip into town....

Latest answer posted May 24, 2016 3:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What event triggers Mitty's courtroom daydream in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?

Like many of his delusional daydreams, Walter Mitty’s courtroom dream was triggered by a specific series of events in combination. Driving his car above the speed limit set by his wife triggers his...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2016 11:26 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the main conflict and theme of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?   

Author James Thurber is one of America’s cleverest humorists of the twentieth century. In 1939, he penned the short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” for New Yorker magazine, and it promptly...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2020 2:38 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Compare and contrast the real-life Walter Mitty with his imaginary counterparts.

The real-life Walter Mitty seems to be diametrically opposed to his imaginary counterparts or alter egos, but by the end shows a few similarities. One way Walter differs from his imaginary...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2020 11:54 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In James Thurber's story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," are Walter and Mrs. Mitty "round" or "flat" characters...

“Round” characters in fiction are complex; “flat” characters are simple. “Dynamic” characters develop in some significant ways during the course of a work; “static” characters do not. Are the main...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2011 12:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Why did Walter Mity imagine himself facing a firing squad?

Because Walter Mitty is so weak and hen-picked in his real life, he develops a fantasy world in which he is active and many times a hero. Putting himself in front of a firing squad would initially...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2007 3:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the meaning of "pocketa-pocketa" in Walter Mitty's dreams?

The “pocketa-pocketa” part of his dreams is Mitty’s way of imagining the sound certain things make—it’s the sound of engine of the hydroplane, or the sound of anaesthetizing machine, or the sound...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2018 1:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the climax of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?"

The climax of the story is when Walter Mitty stands up to his wife and, when she is haranguing him about putting on his overshoes, says, "I was thinking...Does it ever occur to you that I am...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2016 12:45 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the rising and falling action of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?

James Thurber's short story about a mediocre man whose fantasy life impinges upon his real life is both humorous and tragic. Immediately in the exposition, the reader is immersed into the imaginary...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2017 10:13 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What's the resolution for "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty"?

The resolution of James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" can be found in the final paragraph of the short story. It has been another routine day for Walter, driving his wife around and...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2011 5:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the setting in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?

This question has been previously asked and answered. Please see the link below, and thank you for using eNotes.

Latest answer posted February 10, 2010 5:13 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What kind of narrator does James Thurber use in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"? 

In the story, and this includes Walter's daydreams, the author uses a third person narrator. Using this point of view, the narrator refers to each character as he, she, it, they, etc. "I" is used...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What triggers Mitty's second, third, and fourth day-dreams, and how is he pulled out of each one?

Walter's second daydream is triggered after he drives past a hospital. In the daydream, Walter is a specialist working with other doctors to save the life of Wellington McMillan, the millionaire...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2016 5:39 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the exposition in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?

Exposition is the information in a story that catches the reader up with what the characters know, or it can even give information that the characters don't know. It is everything the reader needs...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2019 5:44 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What are the common elements in all of Walter Mitty's daydreams?

In all of Walter Mitty's daydreams he is playing an heroic leading role. It has been pointed out that the roles and settings are the kinds that would be found in popular fiction and Hollywood...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2016 5:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the significance of Walter's last dream where he faces the "firing squad"?

Walter Mitty's final daydream in which he is standing before a firing squad seems to reveal a secret death wish and to show that he is a very unhappy man. He dislikes himself, dislikes his nagging...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2014 11:02 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Why does James Thurber describe Walter Mitty as “undefeated and inscrutable to the last” in "The Secret Life of...

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" juxtaposes the extraordinary daydreams of its protagonist with the mundane realities of life. In his imagination, life is exciting,but in reality, it is boring....

Latest answer posted February 19, 2019 11:46 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Is there any foreshadowing in the story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?"  

In the opening sentences of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" there is a subtle foreshadowing of the very last scene of the story. The story opens abruptly: “We’re going through!” The Commander’s...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2015 8:29 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the differnce between the way people treat him in real life and the way they treat him in his daydreams?

The main difference between the way Walter Mitty is treated in real life and the way he is treated in his daydreams and fantasies has to do with his wife. Mitty has very little interaction with...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2012 2:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the mood in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?

Mood is an element within a piece of literature that creates feelings in the reader. Mood is different than tone because tone refers to the author's attitude toward a subject. Sometimes mood is...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2019 12:31 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Describe the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Mitty.

Carl Jung, the famed psychoanalyst, coined the terms “introvert” and “extravert” in his brilliant book Psychological Types. Walter Mitty is obviously an introvert. According to Jung: The introvert...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2015 7:19 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the climax of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?

The climax to this story isn't easily identified. I've read commentaries on this story that say the story doesn't have a climax. To some extent, that does make sense—the story weaves through...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2018 3:51 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What type of character is Walter Mitty?

Walter Mitty from the book The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a shy, introverted daydreamer. He is a character who is wrapped up in his own head and is therefore unable to properly interact with...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2019 2:10 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the theme of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?

The theme of a work of literature can be defined as the message a reader might take away after reading the work. With this definition in mind, the theme of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" has to...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2019 2:13 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is Walter Mitty's dominant character trait in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?

Using the vernacular of the time period in which Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was written, Walter Mitty is a husband who is "hen-pecked." In contemporary times, Mitty would probably...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2017 12:19 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the irony in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?

In his mind, Walter imagines that he is the most capable man in the world. In his real life, he is quite incompetent. One might think that, at least occasionally, Walter would try to be competent...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2016 5:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

How might Walter Mitty's personality trigger his last daydream?

Mitty's last daydream is one where he is shot before a firing squad while he is smoking a cigarette. In this daydream he has the ultimate escape from his domineering wife-through his death. The...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2008 11:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the significance of Walter Mitty's fantasies?

The famous short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber tells of a man who has one amazing, adventurous, graphic fantasy after another while out on a shopping trip with his wife....

Latest answer posted March 11, 2019 6:11 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the central idea of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"? 

Walter Mitty’s life is a juxtaposition of boring normalcy and extraordinary fantasies. Mitty goes into his fantasies to escape the real world: he dreams of being a Captain, a Commander, a famous...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2016 8:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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

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...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Which of Mitty's traits causes his wife, the police officer, and the parking-lot attendant to scold him? Why do they...

There is a subtle linkage among Mitty's interactions with his wife, the police officer, and the parking-lot attendant. It has to do with gloves. When Mitty is letting his wife off in front of the...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2016 7:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Why does Mitty daydream so much? 

Walter Mitty's ordinary, workaday life is none too exciting. It's not surprising, then, that he wants to create, and retreat into, his own little fantasy world. In his fantasies he's everything he...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2018 3:53 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Explain how Mrs. Mitty's personality triggers his last dream. In what way is this day-dream an apt comment upon...

First, we have to identify Mitty's last daydream. At the very end of the story, after an unpleasant encounter with his wife, Mitty has the fantasy of being in front of a firing squad about to be...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2011 1:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," what triggers Mitty's second, third, and fourth daydreams? How is he pulled out...

Mitty's second daydream begins when he drives past a hospital after dropping his wife at the beauty shop. His brilliant medical career ends when the parking lot attendant yells at him to "Back it...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2009 8:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," what are the similarities between Mitty's real life and his daydreams?

In the short story, Walter Mitty does not actually take any direct action comparable to his daydreams. Instead, he is inspired by a general desire for adventure and danger, and the various things...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2012 9:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

How does Mrs. Mitty feel about her husband in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"?  

Mrs. Mitty does not explicitly express her feelings towards Walter, but she demonstrates no respect for her husband, trivializing whatever he says. Moreover, she seems to treat him as though he...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2016 7:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the structure of the story "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber?

James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" presents a story in which fantasy intrudes upon the boundaries of reality in an episodic fashion. The reader can delight in Mitty's creative...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2018 7:43 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What are the humorous aspects of Walter Mitty's daydreams? Why did you find them funny? 

Being a henpecked husband and dissatisfied with his own real life, it is humorous to see how dashing and heroic Walter Mitty becomes in his daydreams. He manages to escape all of his troubles (and...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2010 2:06 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is the first thing Walter Mitty daydreams about? Describe the daydream in detail?

The story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" begins in the middle of his daydream. Readers are not introduced to Walter Mitty. We are introduced to the Commander. He is a brave and fearless leader...

Latest answer posted January 1, 2018 3:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What is an example of onomatopoeia used in the story ''The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty''?

James Thurber uses many made-up words in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," but only two or three seem to qualify as examples of onomatopoeia, which is the creation of words that imitate natural...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2015 1:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In what way does Mitty's last daydream of an apt comment on his fate in real life?

Walter Mitty's last daydream is of his bravely facing the firing squad. He scorns the blindfold, takes a last drag on his cigarette, and bears his breast to the bullets. Prior to this, Walter had...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2009 7:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

What are 3 reasons why the author would end the story with a fantasy sequence?

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a short story with an unusual narrative progression. It features a hen-picked protagonist who, while demure and nervous in his day-to-day life, finds himself...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2020 9:57 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I am trying to come up with a thesis statement for a comparative paper on "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and "The...

This is a great question to think about. Overtly, these two excellent short stories have little in common, but if I were you, I would try to think through comparing how dreams and the imagination...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2011 10:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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