James Thurber | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of James Thurber.
This section contains 5,636 words
(approx. 19 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Anthony Kaufman

SOURCE: “‘Things Close In’: Dissolution and Misanthropy in ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’,” in Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring, 1994, pp. 93–104.

In the following essay, Kaufman notes that below the surface of Thurber's “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” lies an increasing preoccupation with fantasy life and rejection of reality.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is quite possibly the best known American short story. “Walter Mitty” as a character type has penetrated the popular imagination: we speak of a person inclined to day dreaming as a “Walter Mitty.” Mitty, by consensus, represents the American little man, comfortably suburban, but bored to death with a middle-class, middlebrow life. Clearly his life is severely conventional, and it is obvious that Thurber is suggesting that American middle-class life offers little in the way of opportunities for romance, heroism, “a life full of passion, poetry, and hate,” as a...

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This section contains 5,636 words
(approx. 19 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Anthony Kaufman
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Critical Essay by Anthony Kaufman from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.