The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Film)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Film) Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Travel Journal (Symbol)

Walter's travel journal is a symbol of two different things. In the beginning of the film it is a symbol of all the things he has never done and will never do. When he decides to bring it with him to the Himalayas, it becomes a symbol of the adventures he has yet to take, the stories he has yet to tell, and the possibility for excitment in his life.

Snow Leopard (Symbol)

When Walter finally catches up to Sean O'Connell, he finds the photojournalist crouched behind a rock waiting to photograph the elusive snow leopard. The leopard is a symbol for those things in life that are beautiful and important, but are rarely seen. Sean describes the snow leopard thus: "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." The snow leopard is also a symbol for people like Walter, who do beautiful things in the world, but often go unsung or unnoticed.

Negative Assets (Symbol)

Walter's job at Life magazine is a symbol of sorts. While he does important work for the magazine, and spends a lot of his time looking at images that depict a life of adventure, he rarely leaves the dark office where he keeps track of the negatives. His job looking at the negative images of someone else's adventures symbolizes his life in the margins and the shadows: always observing, but never adventuring himself.

Skateboard (Symbol)

Walter's old skateboard is a symbol for the ways he used to be risk-taking and adventurous. As a teenager, he marched to the beat of his own drummer and did things that weren't so clean-cut and expected. The skateboard is an object that represents this rebellious spirit.

Todd (Motif)

Throughout the film, Todd, a customer service representative from eHarmony, calls Walter to discuss ways to beef up his dating profile. Todd's telephone calls become a kind of comic motif, and Walter updates him on his wild misadventures throughout the course of the movie, striking up an actual friendship over the phone.