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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

by James Thurber

Marriage Theme

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" portrays a marriage in which the wife is domineering, controlling, bossy, and in short, "wearing the pants." Her husband, Walter Mitty, is by contrast passive, submissive, and under his wife's thumb. One point of view is that Thurber's portrayal of Mrs. Mitty is sexist; perhaps he's putting down ALL women as bossy and unloving. Another perspective is that Mrs. Mitty is simply a caricature of one type of woman.

Questions About Marriage

  1. What kind of marriage do Walter and Mrs. Mitty have?
  2. It's easy to see the problems with the Mitty's marriage, but are there any good qualities to their relationship?
  3. Is Mrs. Mitty intended as representative of all women, or just as a caricature of a particular type of woman?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Thurber condemns the institution of marriage in this story.

Thurber's views, as seen in "Walter Mitty," are sexist.

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