Walter Mitty the Undefeated

Sarah Glancey

Using daydreams as part of the text structure, Walter Mitty is characterized as passive, lacking self- confidence, and quiet.

First, Walter Mitty is extremely passive throughout most of the story.

One example of this claim is that his wife is constantly berating him, whereas he says nothing. For example, his wife yells, "Not so fast! You're driving too fast!" He does not defend himself, only complies to her wishes, and slows down the car. This leads to my second example, that he often does not stick up for himself. Instead of doing what he wants, he follows his wife's rules. While in the car, Mrs. Mitty asks where his gloves are and why he is not wearing them. He quickly puts them on to please his wife instead of pleasing himself.
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Throughout this short story, it is infered by many examples that Walter Mitty is lacking self- confidence, meaning he is insecure.

No matter where Walter goes, he is almost always downgraded by his wife. When he is not home, it may be a cop, a garageman, or a parking lot attendant. At one point, the garageman smugly smiles at Walter, making him feel inferior because he can not do the things others can. They see Walter incapable of doing many things, including removing the chains from the tires of his car. He comes up with an excuse to put his right arm in a sling to cover up his insecurity.
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Lastly, after being degraded for many years by the people around him, he has learned to become closed off and quiet.

Walter Mitty is used to being treated inferior by his peers, so he is often quiet. When people point out his mistakes and flaws, his first response is "Oh." He does not defend himself, he only has a one word response. Also, because he is always lectured, he zones out into a daydream to get away. This is often what causes his confusion, and why people are always yelling at him.
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The author's text structure defines the characterization of Walter Mitty in many ways, as described by the many examples above.