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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


by James Thurber

Analysis: Writing Style

Playful, Imaginative

Fittingly, we might add, since this is a story about playful imagination. In "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory," we talk about the effect of Mitty's colorful, made-up jargon: a disease called "coreopsis," a "Webley-Vickers 50.80" pistol, and others (6,10). While Thurber doesn't go so far as to make up words in the narration, we can indeed see in the writing style Mitty's imaginative influence. Thurber describes Mitty driving towards Waterbury with a terrible storm raging "in the remote, intimate airways of his mind" (3). When describing the hotel lobby doors, he describes the "faintly derisive whistling sound" they make when you push them (15). There is a creativity and playfulness to this writing style that seems to fit with Thurber's daydreaming protagonist.

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