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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


by James Thurber

Walter Mitty Timeline and Summary

  • Walter fantasizes that he is the Commander of a Navy hydroplane. This fantasy is interrupted by his wife's plea that he slow the car down.
  • He drops off his wife at the hairdresser and grumbles about wearing his gloves and having to buy overshoes.
  • A cop yells for Mitty to go at the green light.
  • Walter passes a hospital and fantasizes that he is a world-famous surgeon saving the life of a very important millionaire.
  • Walter drives in the exit to the parking lot and resents the grin of the parking attendant. He recalls getting the chains from his tires tangled when he tried to take them off himself.
  • Walter can't remember the other thing he was supposed to buy.
  • He hears a newsboy shouting about a trial and imagines he is a crack shot on trial. He ruins his lawyer's defense by demonstrating that he could have shot the victim with his left hand, though his right arm was in a sling.
  • Walter remembers that he needs to buy puppy biscuits.
  • While he waits for his wife to finish at the hairdresser, Walter sees a copy of Liberty and imagines that he is a British pilot, ready to risk his life for his country.
  • Walter's wife interrupts him and they get ready to head back home.
  • While Mrs. Mitty runs into a drugstore, Walter waits outside and imagines that he is bravely awaiting his death by firing squad.