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Tasks - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Based on the resource The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

How to Analyze a Short Story

Comprehension

  1. Where are Walter Mitty and his wife going, and how often do they go there?
  2. How does Mitty’s wife discover that he is daydreaming while driving?
  3. How would you describe Mitty’s everyday life?
  4. How many daydreams does Mitty have?
  5. What does Mitty do in each dream?
  6. How do other people react to Mitty’s behaviour?
  7. How does Mitty execute the assignments given to him by his wife?
  8. What happens when Mitty meets his wife?
  9. How would you interpret Mitty’s last daydream?

Discussion

  1. Is Walter Mitty a comic or tragic character? Could he be both comic and tragic? Give reasons for your answer.
  2. What kind of relationship does Mitty have with his wife? How could their relationship be a reason for his daydreams?
  3. Do we all resemble Walter Mitty to some extent? If so, which of Mitty's personal traits could be found in most people?
  4. Which dangers are associated with Mitty’s daydreams? Give examples from the text.

Act It Out

You are a marriage councellor and Mitty and his wife are sitting in front of you waiting for your advice on how to improve their relationship.Write down some keywords before you start acting.

Literary analysis

  1. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a dramatized short story. Study "How to Analyze a Short Story" (in the link collection). Is this a typical short story?
  2. Which themes do you find in the text?
  3. Compare Walter Mitty’s ordinary life and the life he lives in his daydreams. What differences do you find in these lives? How is Mitty’s personality in his daydreams compared to his ordinary life?
  4. In Mitty’s daydreams several meaningless professional terms are used. Why do you think?

Vocabulary

In the story about Walter Mitty you'll find words and expressions associated with many trades and occupations. Choose one of these occupations and list the words in the text that describe it.

  • shopkeeper
  • doctor/nurse
  • lawyer
  • captain in the army
  • driver
  • pilot

Writing

Write an essay on one of these assignments.

  1. Discuss this statement: “Daydreams play an essential part in most people’s lives. Without them we would get depressed!”
  2. Discuss if daydreams are related to events in real life? If so, how?
  3. Daydreams – a curse or a blessing? Discuss.
  4. Write your own daydream (rock star, top athlete, artist etc). Add a section in which you review your own writing process and the choices you made (setting, point of view, characters, events etc.).

Læringsressurser

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