• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The first story to be discussed is called "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" written by James Thurber in 1942.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Essay Compare these stories, examining how the writers convey the theme of escapism. Consider why this them might appeal to readers at the time of the writing. The first story to be discussed is called "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" written by James Thurber in 1942. This story is set in America in the 1940's around the time of the Second World War. The story follows the life of an American couple, Walter Mitty, who frequently slips in and out of a fantasy world, and his wife. Walter's pastimes and interests consist of his fantasies. He is interested in the excitement that is usually found in movies. The second story "The Poor Relation's Story" was written by Charles Dickens in 1852. The story was set at Christmas time with a family having gathered for Christmas dinner. Stories were told around the fire. The first story was told by Michael, the 'poor relation'. He slips into a fantasy world a few times in the process of telling his story, Michael's pastimes include walks in the parks and admiring monuments, this was often in the company of 'Little Frank'. It would seem to me that Walter Mitty is of similar age to Michael, who we are told is 59. ...read more.

Middle

One moment it is his real life and then in an instant he jumps to a fantasy. In the secret life of Walter Mitty his fantasy is introduced instantly. The first sentence makes a great impact on the reader. "'We're going through!' the Commander's voice was like thin ice breaking." The reader may be confused as to whether this first fantasy is a memory or a fantasy. This confusion is resolved when his wife mentions that he should see a doctor! The way in which the reader is able to understand the separation of fantasy and real life is by the use of paragraphs, which serve to separate the fantasy life from the real life. A Poor Relation's story is very confusing. The stories he tells are different to those in Walter Mitty's life. For example, Walter Mitty fantasises about dramatic events, whereas Michael fantasises about things that went wrong in his life and how he would have wanted them changed. It is confusing when Michael contradicts himself. For example, the reader may be confused in the beginning of the 11th paragraph on line 108. "This is not my life, and these are not my habits. I do not even live in Clapham road." ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, Michaels fantasies were those attributes that any other man would have wanted at that time, e.g. wealth, marriage, and career. Those fantasies would not be appreciated at this time because people take those qualities for granted. The story of Walter Mitty was not shaped by the time it was written. This can be seen by the way that his fantasies could have been thought of by anyone, at any time. Both writers use the main character in the story to convey the theme of escapism. This is conveyed in "The Secret life of Walter Mitty" by the use of Walter Mitty's fantasies. He fantasies explore a wide range of topics. This is unlike that in "A Poor Relations Story". Charles Dickens conveys the escapism theme through the stories told by Michael. I prefer "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". The reason for this is that it is funnier and it is less confusing. The story can be easily interpreted and understood. I like the role of the wife in this story she reminds me of Hyacinth Bouquet from Keeping up Appearances. This story can easily be related to. Everybody knows of people similar to the characters. The story also has a lot more action in it. For this reason I think it would make a good movie as well. The switching from scene to scene would hold the viewer's attention. 6 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE A Tale of Two Cities section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE A Tale of Two Cities essays

  1. A little about Charles Dickens…

    of France and that they had the right to rule the country. By the end of 1970 they had gotten rid of most of the old laws of France, abolished the feudal system, ended the legal

  2. Scaredy cat ...

    I sat on the floor, waiting for Lucie to return all alone and in pain, thinking about how brilliant the ride was and have a single wish to go on it for one last time....

  1. In the stories that we have read, the writers present, main characters whom either ...

    He himself says, "I failed in my expectations from my uncle Chill, on account of not being as sharp as he could have wished in worldly matters'', Although Michael puts up a front saying he wants to be solitary, he is ecstatic when he finds his wife, and says family occasions are a party for him!

  2. From the stories in the section -

    This is what provokes the great sympathy for Lou I this story. I feel that almost the same degree of sympathy is felt for Michael in 'The Poor Relation's Story' but somehow Lou's circumstance seems slightly worse, this is purely because Michael manages to get some kind of revenge in the end.

  1. Compare and contrast the ways in which Shaw and Dickens present irony through their ...

    Similarly, the genuine affection and heroism of Richard would be lost if Shaw undermined either character with irony. In effect the two ideas work in binary opposition: without the reality of the characters of Judith, Anderson and Richard the hyperbolic strictness of Mrs Dudgeon would not be so amusing and

  2. Tale of Two Cities.

    " 'Come then!� cried Defarge, in a resounding voice 'Patriots and friends, we are ready! The Bastille!�" The exclamations marks make this very dramatic and adjectives making Defarge sound as if he is shouting emphasises this. Addressing the people as "Patriots and friends."

  1. By means of exercising refined style and accomplished structure, Dickens takes the reader through ...

    Only after the reading of Dr. Manette's document do the issues become crystal clear. The story opens in a "clammy and intensely cold mist"(Bk1, Chapter 2, 7), reflecting obscurity and secrecy, with anonymous passengers and puzzling messages. This is followed by Dr.

  2. Will Charles Ever Be Saved From the Evremonde Name?

    to reveal Charles in a trial for his life with the Doctor's journal. This information would not be new to the Doctor, for he is aware of Charles' real identity, which set the Doctor back into another relapse. Successfully Doctor Manette overcame the shock, and confidently kept the disturbing news

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work