The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Questions and Answers
by James Thurber

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

Walter Mitty's daydreams in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" are caused by boredom and his dissatisfaction with everyday life. They are an escape into a world in which exciting things happen.

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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 toward the deeper seated root cause of why Mitty is having so many daydreams in the first place.

Mitty's daydreams aren't random. They are triggered by something in the environment around him. When he sees a hospital, he imagines that he is an expert surgeon. When he hears about a court trial, he is a fantastic lawyer. When he sees pictures of bombers, Mitty becomes a brave pilot. When he lights up a cigarette, he imagines himself standing before a firing squad.

The fact that Mitty is having daydreams shouldn't surprise or shock readers. We've all had daydreams, and more than likely, they involve us doing something in and around the environment that we were present in at that moment. What readers should notice is just how often Mitty has his daydreams. They are constant. It's possible that Mitty has...

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vnessawong21 | Student

In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the daydreams are caused by Walter Mitty's boredom. Walter Mitty leads a drab boring life and even he is bored by his own existence. His daydreams are a way to escape this boredom and provide him with some sort of entertainment. In his daydreams he depicts himself as the man he wishes he could be. A fearless leader in some sort of action packed adventure. However, the last daydream he has is symbolic of how in the end his daydream is just a dream and he must return to his boring reality.