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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


by James Thurber

Mitty's Bumbling Jargon

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Mitty fantasizes about being a Commander or a pilot or a surgeon or a crack shot, but in fact, he is none of these things. And as such, he doesn't really know what he's talking about. When he imagines being a surgeon, for example, he fantasizes that "Coreopsis has set in" (6). This isn't so much a disease as it is…a plant, rather similar to a daisy. And the gun Walter imagines in the courtroom? A "Webley-Vickers 50.80," or a gun with a three-foot barrel (10). Again, this is part of the humor of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." His fantasies read more like exaggerated parodies of adventure stories than like genuine drama.

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