Premium Essay

Compare and Contrast the Life of Walter Mitty and the Story of an Hour

In: English and Literature

Submitted By anna1326
Words 355
Pages 2
James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a short story that was written in 1937. The story features an elderly man who drives his wife into town for beauty parlor visits and regular weekly shopping. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” was published in 1894. In this short story Kate Chopin presents her perspective of the repressive role of marriage in the lives of women. This is shown by the fact that the main character, Louise Mallard, thinks that she will find freedom in the death of her husband. Both short stories share common theme of gender roles and marriage. Gender roles are defined as the behavior and attitudes that are strengthened by the stereotypical identity of an individual. The relationships among the form, style, and content of the two stories help us to understanding the essence of gender roles and marriage in the society today and back then. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Walter Mitty is an elder American man who has retired and has nothing else to do except follow his wife around. Walter daydreams about the life he wishes he could have. The main focus of the story is to present a fantasy world rather than a realistic one. “The Story of the Hour” takes on a more dramatic effect. The story reflects an important hour for the main character, Louise Mallard. Louise experiences freedom in this hour. Just like in The Secret Life of Witty where the main focus is on the desire to escape from an ordinary life, so is the case with The Story of the Hour where Louis’ desire and fantasy is independence. She could only attain the freedom in the death of her oppressive husband.
The main character in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is Walter Mitty who is a daydreamer. He spends most of his time fantasizing that he is someone else. According to his imagination, he is a hero, a successful and courageous individual who is destined to…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

...Salhi Mohammed G7 When life gets boring, when people around you push you to the limits, day dreaming is the key to survive all this, at least this is true for Walter Mitty who chose to escape his pathetic life by diving in fantasy. Walter Mitty is a character created and used by James Thurber in a comic way to walk us through the problem of weak, henpecked men. The story shows the poor Walter gets bossed by His nagging wife, who keeps giving orders and criticizes harshly on everything Walter does; those complaints stand out clearly in her dialog "Not so fast! You're driving too fast! […]You know I don't like to go more than forty". After those barks at Mr. Mitty face he slowed down and drove in silence, and despite Walter Stubbornness he always give in and obey to his wife orders. During the story Walter Mitty is being shown like a child whose mother keeps dictating orders which he have to do without any objection. Day dreaming was Mitty’s saver from his ruled pathetic life, the lack of power and control in his real life made him chose heroic dreams in order to obtain more strength and more self-esteem to fill the void his wife made, those dreams were activated by various events, as the story begins Walter was driving his wife to the beauty shop while he was imagining himself as the commander of plane which was in trouble but the members of the crew have faith in his ability to get them through “The Old Man'll get us through”, so did he satisfy his thirst for control ...

Words: 389 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Compare and Contrast the Secret Life of Walter Mitty and I’m Going

...“The Gift of the Magi” Milton Wiscovitch Jr. ENG 125 Prof. Jennifer Chunn November 26, 2012 Theme and Narrative Elements of “The Gift of the Magi” O Henry’s short story written in 1906 “The Gift of the Magi” identifies the theme elements as poverty and love. The lack of money and living in a poor neighborhood affected both Della and Jim. They expressed their unconditional love for each other by sacrificing their most prized possessions in order to buy a Christmas gift. Through this act of love both Della and Jim saw how much they really loved each other by wanting to make their partner happy. This short story identifies that love has no boundaries over having money through self sacrifice when it comes to giving all you have for the one you love. The couple sacrificed items that brought them joy such as Della’s hair and Jim’s watch which was important to the both of them but wasn’t worth much financially (Clugston, 2010). The plot’s analysis centers around the initial situation which states that Della only has $1.87 to purchase her husband Jim a gift on Christmas Eve. Both Della and Jim are poor and love her husband more than in the whole world. Della’s long hair and Jim’s gold watch were the only things they had and gave them up for one another. In the conflict, Della sells her hair to get the money in order to purchase her husband Jim a gift. This solves the problem of not having enough money and later she finds the perfect present for her husband. This opposes...

Words: 839 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

...The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the work that captured me. “Once we connect, we find ourselves escaping from the routine of our ordinary lives, caught up into adventure and entertained.” (Clugston, 2010 pg 2) When reading this story, I liked how the author, James Thurber, portrays Walter Mitty as a constant, irresponsible daydreamer, who then becomes serious in nature. I can relate to all of it, I am a daydreamer who then becomes serious. I have actually said the same thing as Walter Smitty when he states “Does it ever occur to you that I am sometimes thinking?” (Clugston, 2010 pg 8) With this story, it was feelings that captivated me. I was able to feel and understand what James Thurber was writing about. The feelings that James Thurber created in his writing of the story were the feelings that I was having at that moment. The connections that I made between this piece of literature and others that I have read have to do with the feelings of the author’s writing. In this story he portrays the main character, Walter Smitty, as a bumbling day dreamer and his wife as a nagger My connection to the story did actually give me new insights. It gave me the insight from the view point of others. Walter Mitty’s wife is in the position that my boyfriend finds himself in a lot with me, his having to constantly remind me of things because I often forget things. When he is talking to me while I am day dreaming and just agreeing with what he says, I do not......

Words: 338 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

...The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Cadina Odum ENG125 Mary Lounsbury March 17, 2013 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (Thurber, 1939) is a short story by James Thurber. The most famous of Thurber’s stories, it first appeared in The New Yorker on March 18, 1939. This short story deals with a vague and mild-mannered man who drives into Waterbury, Connecticut and his wife for their regular weekly shopping and his wife’s visit to the beauty parlor. During this time he has five heroic daydream episodes, ranging from being a pilot in the U.S. Navy flying boat to being on a secret suicide mission to bomb an ammunition dump. In the following paragraphs I will tell why this story captured my interest, describe an analytical approach and evaluate this work and the meaning of the story. This story using great detail with descriptive, imaginative wording brings the reader in and allows you to visualize what he is daydreaming. This is the type of writing that draws me in and allows me to imagine what is going on. This work is a good example of farce (a comedy; a short play, in which both subtle humor and hilarity are developed through improbable situations, exaggeration and (often) ridiculous antics) (Clugston, 2010). Selected to show how humor can be used imaginatively in a story to illustrate the need for communication in human relationships: Mitty’s immersion in extraordinary matters of his dream world blocks him from sensitivity to his......

Words: 689 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the Story of an Hour Compare/Contrast

...The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a short story that was written in 1937. The story features an elderly man who drives his wife into town for beauty parlor visits and regular weekly shopping. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” was published in 1894. In this short story Kate Chopin presents her perspective of the repressive role of marriage in the lives of women. This is shown by the fact that the main character, Louise Mallard, thinks that she will find freedom in the death of her husband. Both short stories share common theme of gender roles and marriage. Gender roles are defined as the behavior and attitudes that are strengthened by the stereotypical identity of an individual. The relationships among the form, style, and content of the two stories help us to understanding the essence of gender roles and marriage in the society today and back then. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Walter Mitty is an elder American man who has retired and has nothing else to do except follow his wife around. Walter daydreams about the life he wishes he could have. The main focus of the story is to present a fantasy world rather than a realistic one. “The Story of the Hour” takes on a more dramatic effect. The story reflects an important hour for the main character, Louise Mallard. Louise experiences freedom in this hour. Just like in The Secret Life of Witty where the main focus is on the desire to escape from an ordinary life, so is the case with The Story of the Hour......

Words: 1223 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Compare and Contrast Essay: "Story of an Hour" and "To My Dear and Loving Husband"

...Compare and Contrast Essay: “Story of an Hour” and “To My Dear and Loving Husband” Thesis: In the short story, “Story of an Hour” by Mary Chopin and the poem “To my Dear and Loving Husband”, by Anne Bradstreet both authors reveal how each of their female characters feel about their husband and how each feelings are expressed differently I. Both women are treated differently by their husbands. A. In the “Story of an Hour”, the central character, Louise Mallard, feels locked in her marriage. B. In “To My Dear and Loving Husband”, the author Anne feels safe and secure in her marriage. II. Both women express different feelings about their mates. A. In “Story of an Hour”, Louise feels that it is not enough that her husband loves her. B. In “To My Dear and Loving Husband”, Anne values her relationship with her husband more than anything. III. Both authors use literary concepts to make their writings easier to understand. A. In “Story of an Hour”, the line free, free, free tells us that Louise feels free after learning of her husband’s death. B. In “To My Dear and Loving Husband”, the line I prize thy love more than mines of gold tells us that she values their love very much. A WOMAN’S LOVE FOR A MAN As every woman is an individual with distinct characteristics so too will her feelings towards her husband are uniquely expressed. There are husbands who try to control their wives so much that the woman cannot freely follow does their own will. Then there......

Words: 1304 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

...The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Loren Martin Sahag Gureghian Eng 125 16 September 2013 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Throughout this class, I’ve been stretched further mentally than I have in a long time. I am not a naturally a person who sits and reads poems or tries to see if there is symbolism being used in a short story. For me, I take life the same way I do what I read, at face value. If you talk to me about June, I will take you literally, like you’re talking about the month of June. I won’t get that your symbolizing an establishment. So I guess that even though literature is very frustrating to me, I think maybe I’ve learned a few things. One of the things that we looked at in this class was themes in literature. What themes are, and how they may or may not flow through poems or short stories. I am going to take a look at two very different short stories, and show how the theme is the same. We will take a look at the way they are written, Walter Mitty, although he is a figment of someone else’s imagination, reminds me of some of my friends, and ultimately myself. The writer’s main focus is Mr. Mitty’s ability to slip into “another world”, completely forgetting where he is at and what he is doing in the present. The world he slips into is a world that makes him more important than the monotonous world he lives in. Although Mitty isn’t completely cut off from reality, he utilizes his ideal world to cope with his seemingly boring life. One of the......

Words: 910 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Compare and Contrast

...Compare and contrast “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and “The Necklace” Dreams, sacrifice, marital unhappiness and escapism are often themes involving men and women in English Literature. Throughout history, stories have been filled with main characters living out fantasies and dreams, hoping for more out of their own lives, only to find they had what they wanted right in front of them, all along. These aforementioned these are the main focuses of the two stories I am going to write about, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” by James Thurber and “The Necklace,” by Guy de Maupassant. The main characters in these two stories are, Walter Mitty, in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and Mathilde Loisel in “The Necklace.” Both characters are dreamers of a different, fancier or exciting life, which ultimately cause problems for each character. This paper will compare and contrast these two stories by showing, although each was written very differently, both are from different time periods, different languages, different social settings, and each have different outcomes, they are still very much the same. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” it portrays the inner soliloquy of a man’s mind flowing in and out of fantasies as he completes his routine tasks on an otherwise routine day.   Walter Mitty is trapped in an unhappy marriage with an overbearing wife, who runs his life in every moment she is present in the story. Walter’s story begins deep in a fantasy battle,......

Words: 2327 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Themes and Narrative Element of " the Secret Life of Walter Mitty '

...Theme and Narrative Elements of the Secret Life of Walter Mitty Josetta James ENG 125 Introduction to Literature Instructor: Angela di Gualco 01/10/2014 Theme and Narrative Elements of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” The theme is one of the most involved elements of a short story. The themes job is to give the readers the over-all idea that is fabricated behind a story. A short story is marked as portraying broad ideas and elements into small pieces. In short, the theme in a story reflects or serves as the presentation of its ideas. (Clugston, 2010) The objective of this essay is to reveal the ways in which the literary elements tone and character contribute to the larger narrative theme by analyzing the short story by James Thurber titled The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. James Thurber created the character of Walter Mitty whose life seems so ordinary and boring. Walter Mittys imagination (daydreams) helps him to escape his dull life. His imagination places him in heroic situations such as a commander in the Navy steering his crew though bad weather in an 8-engine Navy hydroplane, or thinks he's a famous surgeon who is asked to help a rich Englishman, who is a friend of President Roosevelt. James Thurber set the tone for Character Walter Mitty by his actions of day dreaming, escaping reality Tone is more than merely an author’s attitude toward his/her audience and characters; it is the stylistic means by which an author conveys his/her Attitudes in a work of......

Words: 739 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty vs the Story of an Hour

...to compare the two short stories “The Story of an Hour”, by Kate Chopin and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, by James Thurber. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a short story written in 1937. The main character is an older man that drives his wife to town for beauty parlor visits and weekly shopping. “The Story of an Hour” was published in 1894. The main character, Louise Mallard, thinks that she will find freedom from the death of her husband. These short stories share a common theme, gender roles within a marriage. Each of the main characters in these stories has their own ideas about the gender roles that they are supposed to play, according to society and the time that they live in. The secret life of Walter Mitty and The Story of an Hour are based on a man Mr. Walter Mitty and a woman Mrs. Louise Mallard, whom believe that they have become prisoners within their marriages. They have to abide by the society standards of their era, divorce is not an option because all marriages have issues and the wedding vows need to be honored, “Until Death due us Part”. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Versus The Story of an Hour In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Walter is an elderly American man who is retired and has nothing better to do but to follow his wife around. Walter daydreams about a life that he wishes he had. The focus of this story is to represent a fantasy world opposed to a reality. “The Story of the Hour” presents a much more dramatic effect. This story......

Words: 2909 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Marriage as a Literary Theme in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

...Marriage as a Literary Theme in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” Amy Barnes ENG125: Introduction to Literature Instructor Victoria Schmidt February 24, 2014 Marriage as a Literary Theme in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” portrays an average man leading a normal, mundane existence, who is married to a controlling, dominating woman who is in charge of her husband Walter’s every move. The literary elements of plot, tone and setting define the reasons why Walter must escape his daily life from his domineeringly aggressive wife, and find a place where he is happier and more content with himself. “Theme [is] associated with an idea that lies behind a literary work. In a story, theme is a representation of the idea behind the story.” (Clugston, 2010) Another viewpoint of theme is derived from K. Griffith (1990) as he implies that theme is the central idea, commenting in some way about the human condition. A theme is what the work says about a topic and must apply not only to the characters in the story but to the "real" world as well. In the short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber (1939), the image of marriage emerges. The author portrays the typical life of two married people, one being passive and the other being dominant. This is not to say that either one is good nor bad, but to show the reasons why Walter fades off into daydream. The characters of Walter and Mrs. Mitty, on the outside are in conflict with......

Words: 1362 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Secret Life of Walter Mitty

... The Secret life of Walter Mitty and The story of an Hour David Babers ENG 125 Sabine Reljic January 27, 2014 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Story of an Hour share a variety of similarities along with many differences. The main points of these stories shows the dynamics love within their marriage but in different way; both woman share common bond of tolerance, for their significant other when it comes to the lack of certain things in their marriage. One of the first similarities of the two stories I notice was the fact that both of the men wives was extremely concerned about their significant others well being. Even though the displayed their affection for their husbands with different actions it was more than obvious that each of them was in sync with their other half’s. Both of the literary pieces where written and described in different points of view. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was written in the form of an omniscient third person point of view. This allows the narrator to describe his own thoughts of the character as the story progresses. But as far is the character Mrs. Mitty it seems as she speaks in more so a first person point of view, as her words and thoughts seems to be more so given in a direct and plain form. As for the “The Story of anf Hour” it is also written in the third person point of view, but it would be considered more so as a limited third person omniscient.    “This......

Words: 2698 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty vs the Necklace

...The Secret Life of Walter Mitty VS The Necklace April Kahl ENG 125 Introduction to Literature Angela di Guaico March 3, 2014 When comparing and contrasting short stories. One should look at tone, irony, theme, symbolism, and imagination. When all these literary terms are combined they make stories. The secret Life of Walter Mitty, and The Necklace, there is similarities in gender role of the characters, but there is differences, both of these short stories represent relationships in their marriage, through the main characters, and the roles they play. In this paper I will explain the similarities as well as the differences the characters play in both stories. I chose these two stories because they both have the same theme about marriage and love. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Necklace are written in third-person narration, and throughout the two stories one person point of view it also allows you to see the dreams and thoughts of the main characters. In ‘ The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, you are given some insight to his imagination of events throughout his day of errands that his wife is having him do while she is getting her hair done at the salon. In ‘ The Necklace’, you are given some insight into Madame Loise’s unhappy and depressing life that she lives and when she is given the opportunity to go this high end event we get to see w her at the ball in her dream, in the dream she is admired as...

Words: 1582 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Lcs121 the Secret Life of Walter Mitty

...James Thurber’s best known story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” is a fictional story of an ordinary husband, Walter Mitty, who performs ordinary tasks and constantly day dreams of being an extraordinary man performing high profile tasks. The story itself begins with Mitty imagining himself as a courageous military commander who is piloting a Navy hydroplane through a storm, when he is ticked off by his wife for driving too fast, he comes back to reality but soon goes back into his fantasy world by imagining himself as a famous surgeon performing a critical surgery on a millionaire banker. The pattern is repeated several times as he further imagines himself being interrogated in a courtroom for murder, followed by a patriotic World War 1 British pilot willing to die for his country and lastly as he waits for his wife outside the drugstore, he imagines himself as an undefeated wanted man smoking his last cigarette waiting to be shot by a firing squad. Throughout the story, Walter Mitty is constantly trying to escape his monotonous life and has to be constantly brought back to reality by others around him. Most of the time it is his almost ‘mother-like’ wife who is always looking all over for him. This sort of behavior is almost expected out of Mitty and seems to have been happening for a while as when she pulls him out of his first day dream she even says that, “it’s one of your days, I wish you’d let Dr. Renshaw look you over.” His wife is clearly the dominant one in......

Words: 881 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Compar and Contrast the Story of an Hour and the Neckles

...The Compare and Contrast of The Story of an Hour and The Necklace Tammy Brettschneider Eng 125: Introduction to Literature Instructor:  April MacGrotty July 23, 2012 As I read “The Story of An Hour” and “The Necklace” they both seem to be that of the late olden days in which women were meant only to be a housewife and nothing else but a housewife. They weren’t able to have any rights to anything that the men were able to do. For they where only aloud right to staying in the house, to do the house work and for most of all to take care of her loving husband and or the kids if they do have any. Back in those days the women weren’t even really considered to be human. Now in these days when there is a femain conditions that comes up it is considered it’s kind of hard to think that back in the days the women aren’t at all part of soviet like they are now. In the stories you can see that the women were both reflected by this. In here you see that the women both didn’t any type of status and they weren’t able to work out side of their homes. To me both of these women were and......

Words: 2071 - Pages: 9

└ TV, audio e video | Oya Mewwe Mata Neda Dileepa Saranga New Sinhala Song 2018 mp3 | Animales Fantásticos: los crímenes de Grindelwald