Dreaming of a Better Life
ENG125 – Introduction to Literature
Prof. Donna Marvel
May 9, 2011
When comparing literary works with commonality and contrast in short stories, one has to think about theme, tone, symbolism, irony, and imagination. All of these literary terms can combine and make a great piece of literature. What is it that separates literary works from being common? In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber and The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, there is a commonality, but there are also differences. Both short stories represent the relationships in marriages through the main characters and the roles that each character plays within the marriage. This paper will explain the common theme, the symbolism, the tone, and the irony within the stories as well as the content, form, and style through textual evidence in relation to the author’s background. Although both stories are similar, there are differences that will be stated as well. Both characters, in their respectable stories, have one main thing in common, a dream.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, written by James Thurber, is by far one of the most well known short stories ever written. “Thurber was a prolific writer and artist who published over twenty books of stories, biographies, drawings, sketches, essays, poetry, fables, and cartoons. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1894. He was a writer and editor at the New Yorker and his work gained him attention as a comic writer. Thurber was married twice and his first marriage lasted only thirteen years. In the 1940’s, Thurber began losing his vision. Eventually, he went completely blind. In his later years, depressed by his health and by the anticommunist movement of the 1950’s, which he opposed, Thurber’s writing became more pessimistic. He died in 1961 (Napierkowski, 1998).” The attention he received from writing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has followed him to this day with questions about his writing style,...