THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY TORRENT
THE STORY IN SHORT : Walter Mitty, the protagonist of the story is driving his wife to town for an appointment at a beauty parlour. In spite of being incompetent man, what made him unique was his outstanding power of imagination.While driving his wife, Mrs. Mitty to town he imagines himself as the commander of a Navy hydroplane. He fancies that the plane is in trouble but the members of the crew have complete faith in his ability. Even he imagines one of the members saying that he would bring the out of the crisis as he is not even afraid of hell. He is brought back from his reverie by Mrs. Mitty’s voice as she warns him not to drive so fast.
Walter Mitty halts the car in front of the building where his wife drops down to get her hair done. She reminds to get the boots while she sets her hair in the parlour. Mrs. Mitty also advises him to put on his gloves but Mitty takes them out off immediately after his wife departs. Walter Mitty now drives around the streets aimlessly for a time and on his way to the parking lot, drove past the hospital. At this place he goes down his second reverie. The second dream of his had its seed sown in his wife’s suggestion of visiting Dr. Renshaw. In this dream Mitty fancies himself, helping several famous physicians save a millionaire by fixing a complicated machine which nobody in the knew how to fix. He even visualizes that he finally acts as a surgeon. He is pulled back into reality by the attendant of the parking lot. Annoyed by the humiliation at the parking lot and the failure of his memory, Mitty now mocks at the attendant by muttering to himself that they think they now everything. He then recalls how he got his chains wound around his axles when he tried to take them off sometime in the past, outside New Milford. At that time a man had to come in a wreaking car and unwind them. Since then, Mrs. Mittyhad him drive to garage every time he had to get his chain taken off. But on next occasion, he is determined to have his right arm in a sling, so that the parking lot attendants realizes the impossibility of Walter Mitty’s taking the chain off. He suddenly remembers about the boots and started searching for a shoe store.
Coming out into the street, Mitty now wonders the other thing which his wife had asked him to get.Kindled by the shouting of a news boy about the Waterbury trial, Mitty now sets off for his third fantasy in which he is on a trial for murder. In the trial, he minutely recalls and bravely admits that he has killed Gregory Filzhurst, despite the efforts of his attorney to prove him innocent.This time he was aroused to reality by his subconscious murmuring of puppy biscuits and the laughing of a passing woman. Mitty immediately hurried on to take some puppy biscuits from the clerk.
Now it was almost time for Mrs. Mitty to come out of the parlour. As she prefers Mr. Mitty to wait for her, he sits himself down on a big leather chair in the lobby putting the boots and the puppy biscuits down on the floor. Here in an old copy of Liberty he sees the pictures of bombing planes and of ruined streets and enters into his fourth reverie. In this fourth reverie he fancies himself volunteering heroically to undertake a risky task of bombing the ammunition dump. In the mean time Mrs. Mitty arrives and he feels something striking his shoulder.
Turning back he finds his wife yelling to announce her search for her husbandin the hotel. She scolds him for hiding himself in that big leather chair queries him about the contents of that box.Her husband reminds her of the boots she had asked him to buy and they finally moved to the chemist’s shop. But before they reach the chemist’s shop, Mrs. Mitty makes it clear to her husband that she is going to take his temperature when he gets home as she felt from his strange behaviour that he might be sick.
On reaching the chemist’s shop, Mrs. Mitty suddenly remembers of forgetting to take something and thus asks her husband to wait for her husband to wait for her till she returns. At that time it was raining. Mitty stood against the store lighting up a cigarette and smoking. Now he enters again into his dream. He now dreams imagines that he is facing the firing squad, standing straight and still, proud and contemptuous.
THE CHARACTER SKETCH OF WALTER MITTY :Walter Mitty, an incompetent, henpecked urban man was blessed with an extraordinary power of fanciful imagination. He gets himself indulded in reveries to escape his real life. The theme of success and failure is examined through his inability to live a fulfilling external life, which causes him to retreat to an internal life full of images of conquests.Walter Mitty is neither exciting nor successful in his everyday life. In fact, the world he lives in, seems hellish to him. Hence, he loves to be in the delicate world of reverie, from which his wife’s nagging voice brings him back to his sole life.
In the very beginning of the story, we find the coward hero fancying himself a brave man. The pseudo-hero imagines himself as the commander of a navy hydroplane. Mitty’s second reverie begins at the parking lot of the hospital. He visualizes himself, helping several famous physicians save a millionaire by fixing a complicated machine. Again on the street searching for puppy biscuits he gets stimulated hearing a news boy shouting about the Waterbury trial, Mitty now sets off the third daydream. He is now on a trial for murder. In the trial, he accurately recalls and valiantly admits that he has Gregory Fitzhurst, despite the efforts of his attorney to prove his innocence. The next dream however, begins when Mitty sits on a big leather chair in the lobby of the parlour waiting for his wife. While looking at the pictures of bombing planes and of ruined streets in an old copy of Liberty, he fancies himself heroically volunteering to undertake a risky task of bombing the ammunition dump. His final reverie takes place while he stood against the wall of the drug store smoking. It was raining then. He imagined himself facing the firing squad standing upright and still, proud and contemptuous.
THE ENDING OF THE STORY : The story ends with an ambiguous note. Mitty, after his third dream, sits on a big leather chair in the lobby, waiting for his wife. While looking at the pictures of bombing planes and of ruined streets in an old copy of Liberty, he fancies that he heroically volunteers to undertake a risky task of bombing the ammunition dump. Meanwhile, his wife appears and yells at him to announce her search for her husband all over the hotel.She rebukes him for being hiddenhimself in the big leather chair. They finally move to the drug store. But before reaching the chemist’s shop Mrs. Mitty makes it clear to her husband that she is going to check his temperature on returning home since she feels her husband’s strange behaviour that he might be sick. On reaching the drug store, Mrs. Mitty remembers to take something that she had forgotten and thus, asks her husband to wait for her till she returns. It was raining then. Mr. Mitty stood against the wall of the drug store and lights up a cigarette and starts smoking it. And he again starts with his daydreaming. Now he dreams that he is facing the firing squad, standing upright and still, proud and contemptuous. Here it is difficult to judge what is real and what is not. But what is clear is that Mitty is no longer a hero, but a little, helpless boy even in his reverie, which is full of the images of conquest.