The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
by James Thurber
Overshoes and Gloves
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Mrs. Mitty badgers Walter to buy overshoes at the store; she also insists that he wear his gloves while driving. It seems to us that a lot of what she does to Walter has to do with sheltering him from the world. After all, she won't let him do simple things for himself (like take his own temperature, or take the chains off his car, or make basic decisions), and this is a big part of the reason he spends so much time fantasizing. If this is true, then the gloves and overshoes might be symbols of the way Mrs. Mitty tries to shield or protect her husband from the world.