Study Guide

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Genre

By James Thurber


[Mock] Adventure, Comedy

It's hard to deny the comic element in "Walter Mitty." Endearing, bumbling Walter Mitty, imagining himself a hero or surgeon or crack shot – it's funny. The over-the-top romanticism of his fantasies (the man on the surgeon's table is a millionaire and close friend of the President; a woman falls into Walter's arms at the trial, and many others) only exaggerates this effect. The fantasies themselves give the story an element of adventure: a hydroplane in a violent storm; a man standing before a firing squad; a dramatic, McDreamy-type surgery – you get the idea.