Themes of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

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James Thurber is the author of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. He feels inferior to his wife throughout his marriage. He learns to express these feelings through writing short stories and illustrating cartoons. This is a way for him to escape his everyday life with his wife. Critics have acknowledged Mitty motif, which is used to describe his two major themes in many of his major works such as “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (Morsberger 66). “The Secret Life of Walter Witty” is one of the most well know short stories by James Thurber (Morsberger 44). His themes are evident throughout the story. Also, he is able to become alive through the story by expressing imagination. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” explores the main themes of disharmony between the sexes, males’ escaping routine, and life as a married couple.
In the Mitty motif, there are two themes, and the first is, “...the domination of the American male by the American female” (Morsberger 66). In James Thurber’s short stories the women are domineering over the men (La Blanc, Michael and Ira 40). Women no longer want to be inferior to men. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, Mitty’s wife bosses him around. This suggests she does not respect her husband. Mitty fails to meet his own idea of masculinity, which in return allows the wife to take power (“Men and Masculinity”). Prior research states that “Thurber embraces the type of masculinity that Walter idealizes in his fantasy” (“Men and Masculinity”). Walter Mitty is a poor driver, a husband who does not care, and a forgetful man (“Men and Masculinity”). He no longer puts forth effort in his marriage. People in the story treat Mitty as a grumpy older man, but he imagines himself to be no such thing, but as a great...

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...ates that, “through this story, Thurber rejects typical romantic ideals of masculinity and instead promotes the everyday sort of masculinity that Walter embodies in real life” (“Men and Masculinity”). James Thurber has condemned the foundation of marriage in this short story of Walter Mitty (“Marriage”).
In conclusion, the Mitty motifs are the themes that include: disharmony between the sexes and males escaping routine. Another theme James Thurber includes in his work is the life as a married couple. Thurber has accomplished many great short shorties in his life, but “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” his most popular work. He has learned to live his life through his short stories, expressing his feelings in his writings. Many individuals have been inspired by his writings. James Thurber has made his mark on the world and will be forever known and never forgotten.

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