The outline of the secret life of Walter Mitty
The story is about Walter Mitty, a henpecked and daydreaming urban man, who often depends on daydreaming to escape real life.
As the story begins, Walter Mitty is driving his wife to town for an appointment at a beauty shop. Triggered by the wild storm, he begins to imagine himself as the commander of a Navy hydroplane.
He dreams that the plane is in trouble but the members of the crew have complete faith in his ability. One member of the crew says, “The Old Man’ll get us through”. Mitty is brought back from this daydream by his wife’s voice, as she says, “Not so fast! You’re driving too fast! What are you driving so fast for?
His second daydream is activated by his wife’s suggestion to see Dr. Renshaw and put on gloves. In the second daydream, he fancies that he is helping several famous physicians save a millionaire by fixing a complicated machine that no one in the East can fix. He even envisages that he finally acts as operator. He is pulled back into reality by the shouting of a parking-lot attendant.
Annoyed by the embarrassment at the parking lot and the failure of his memory and stimulated by the shouting of a newsboy about the Waterbury trial, Mitty sets off the third daydream in which he is on trial for murder. In the trial, he accurately recalls and valiantly admits that he has killed Gregory Fitzhurst despite the efforts of his attorney to prove his innocence. He was aroused to reality by his subconscious murmuring of puppy biscuit and the laughing of a passing woman.
Sitting into a big leather chair in the lobby, he starts his fourth daydream by 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. His wife’s sudden appearance and scolding him like a mother terminate his fantasy.
Mitty sinks deeper and deeper into his secret life until he faces the firing squad. Here it is hard to judge what is real and what isn’t. What is clear is that he is no longer a hero, but a little, helpless boy.