2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

The Tangibility of the Ephemeral: A Psychoanalytical Look at The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in Print and on Screen
Sarah K. Hicks
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Originally written in 1939 and re-imagined in the 2013 film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tells a story about a man named Walter who transcends reality into daydreams to escape the dismal experience of everyday life. However, the daydreams drastically vary between the film and short story, and this essay will assess how the two different Mitty psyches compare and contrast. The original short story portrays a character suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but the film portrays a modern character suffering from a mundane nine-to-five lifestyle. This paper will survey how the two psyches mirror the average male consciousness for the time written, and compare the mindset of the Walter Mitty in both the James Thurber short story and 2013 Ben Stiller film,The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. While Mitty's daydreams may differ in content depending on the medium, their daydreams portray the actual reality human beings create in their minds.

Keywords: Walter Mitty, James Thurber , Psychoanalysis , dreams, reality, post-traumatic stress, Corporate America


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 201-1
Location: MG 1000
Time: 11:00

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