The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Film)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Film) Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Why is it important for Walter to stop daydreaming so much?

    While Walter's daydreaming provides him with some solace from the banalities of the world and the boring work obligations he must fulfill, it also takes him out of the present moment. Loved ones and new acquaintances alike notice that sometimes Walter pulls back and stops focusing on the conversation at hand. Walter's "secret life" causes him to recede, which ends up hurting him in the long run. Over the course of the film, he learns to be more present to his life and integrate his imaginative adventures with events in real life.

  2. 2

    What ironic revelation occurs when Walter finds Sean?

    When Walter finds Sean in the Himalayas, Sean tells him that the negative that is meant for the cover of Life magazine was in the wallet that he sent Walter the whole time. He tells Walter that he thought it would be "cute" to put the negative in the wallet. Ironically enough, Walter has had the wallet (and by extension, the negative) the entire time, but he recently threw it in the trash at his mother's apartment.

  3. 3

    How does Walter's father's death figure in thematically in the story?

    Walter's father was one of his main champions, and encouraged him to be a high-spirited and courageous individual. When he died, Walter was only 17, and not only did Walter lose his main champion, but he also had to start working in order to bring in some money for his family. It was the death of his father that led Walter to recede into a humdrum life and only find his sense of adventure in daydreams.

  4. 4

    How does the motto of Life magazine connect to Walter's story?

    The motto of the magazine is all about taking risks, remaining present to the world around you and its possibilities, and finding purpose in one's life through action. This is exactly the lesson that Walter learns over the course of the film; he learns how to become more adventurous, present, honest, and to find purpose. He truly lives the motto of his company.

  5. 5

    What does the snow leopard symbolize?

    Broadly, the snow leopard that Sean O'Connell photographs symbolizes a beautiful and discreet thing that does not ask for attention or make itself known in an ostentatious way. In relation to the story, the snow leopard represents our protagonist, Walter: a discreet but noble individual who does not make a big fuss, but is notable nonetheless.