Week 33–The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Spoken Word Poetry, and A. W. Tozer

The last two weeks of school I want us to do three things. The first thing I want us to do is to review what we have learned this year. The second thing I want us to do is to look at the American Experience through the life of the average man. We are going to read the humorous short story by James Thurber. I have edited the story a bit, and I will post the link below. I just changed a few words to heck and darn for the sake of our Christian classroom experience. And the third thing I want to do is look at something that was written by A.W. Tozer, about how the choices we make spiritually affect EVERYTHING. If you look back at what we have read this year, the written material in our country has changed significantly over time, just because of tiny little individual choices. The choices you make in your life will affect the future. I want you to think about it.

We are going to watch the movie in class. It is PG. My girls love it. I just want to get permission from your parents before I show it. I will be covering the TV screen during one gesture, and I will try to hit mute for each cuss word. But it is really mild and I know if you have seen any of the Avengers movies this will be NOTHING.

Here is the reveiw from Plugged in Online. Please have your parents text me their permission, or else you will have to hang out in study hall while we watch the movie. 😦

This movie is very beautiful and it does a fabulous job encompassing the spirit of a very special American story. I want us to spend some time analyzing the story, and thinking about our own secret aspirations.

Seriously, this is such a great movie.

So, let me know if your parents give you permission.

I will see if we can watch it in a comfy room with snacks. (I’ll ask Dustin). So think about volunteering for popcorn or candy duty.

Anyways, Next week you will need to read the story– The Secret Life of Walter Mitty then answer the questions that I will post below. 🙂 You will like it.

I also want to give you a small little “Promotion Night Project.”  I will have you do this instead of giving you a final exam. It is easy. Be crafty.

American Literature In Review Display Board (100 points)

Please get a tri-fold board — I might be able to get them from Gary and Janine???

Put your name at the top so people can know it is YOUR board. A nice title, like “Elisabeth Reads America” or “Tristan Learned Things About American Books” or something cool like that!!!

Then display the following items:

  • What Was Your Favorite Book We Read In Class– Two paragraphs about your favorite book. The first paragraph could be a short plot summary, and the second what impact did it have on your life.
  • Who is Your Favorite American Writer and Why– Two paragraphs and a picture 🙂
  • 4 Favorite Quotes– We shared cool quotes all year. Pick four of your favorite and display them on your board.
  • 2 of Your Quote Yourself Quotes
  • Your short story and all essays in a report cover with a table of contents page. 
  • Your Favorite Poem we read in class, printed out. With a picture. 
  • A Top Ten List of your favorite poems, books and short stories that we read in class.
  • How Literature Shaped Society--A paragraph about how something we read in class made an impact on society
  • You could put a paragraph about why American Literature is important. What makes it so special?
  • You can put pictures of books or famous authors, be creative.
  • You can put an original drawing or artwork about a book or writer.

Be creative.

It isn’t hard. I just want you to look back at the year and REMEMBER all the wonderful things we have studied. I want you to be proud of your work, and your own contributions.

I can give you a lot of points for this, if you want to bring up your grades. ❤

You can turn this in the last day of school, or before grades are due.

The Dangers of a Shallow Faith (50 points) Due May 22

I am going to print out a portion of chapter 6 for you to read at home these next two weeks. If you are not at class this week, I can leave them in the High School Room and you can get them from Dustin this Sunday or Wednesday 🙂 I can’t send you a pdf, because I don’t have one!!!

This book is amazing and if you are looking for a good book to read over the summer, you might want to check it out (or borrow mine when I am done).

But the chapter we are going to focus on is called, “The Irresistable Law of Consequence”

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Not only will you reap what you sow, but you will affect everyone around you with the consequences of all your choices. If you are sowing to the Spirit, the people around you will be built up in the Lord. If you are not sowing to the Spirit, at the very least you will be fake and unable to build up others, but you will most likely be someone who actually harms others spiritually–leaven spreads.

Go ahead and read the packet I am going to pass out and answer the questions that are attached. They are going to be due when we get back on May 22.


Spoken Word Poetry

Post Your Answers In the Comment Section (20 points)

1.From the first video, tell me one thing that made you say, “Oh snap!” and then tell me how he plays with words and double meanings.

2. What metaphors does Jeanette-Ikz use in her poem “I will wait for you?”

3. “Almost Saved” uses a lot of comparisons too. How does his use of comparisons prove his point? Also, give me an example of how he plays with word meanings.

4. What do you think of “You Just Lost One?”

***I would ask you to NOT watch the other spoken word videos. Some of the content is inappropriate for you young ones (even I was shocked a bit). I am not posting these videos here as an endorsment of all that their ministry stands for, because I am not familiar with all that they stand for. I posted these videos because they are appropriate for what we are learning, and edifying. I hope you enjoy.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber

Read the Story 🙂

Then Answer the Questions Below

James Thurber

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Questions (100 points–If you answer well) Due May 22–you have two weeks

1. Briefly describe Walter’s 4 daydreams that take place in the story.

2. What is Walter’s real life like?

3. What kind of person does Walter become when he daydreams?

4. What is Mrs. Mitty like?

5. Pyschological Criticism– Why did Walter Mitty create a secret life?

6. Setting–Why does Mrs. Mitty want Walter to wear overshoes and gloves?

7. During surgery Walter uses some technical jargon. What does “obstreosis of the ductal tract” and “coreopsis” mean? Why is this interesting?

8. Where do you see abrupt transitions from the daydream, back into reality?

9. If Walter Mitty could take on the life and persona of any American Lit. author we have studied this year, who would it be?

10. What masculine qualities does Walter wish he had?

11. What value does the theme of escapism play in the story?

12. What point of view is the story told from? (First Person, Third Person Limited, Omniscient)

13. Have you ever found yourself daydreaming that your life was just a little bit more exciting or fulfilling that it is now? What do your dreams center around? Are you a super hero? Are you brave? Beautiful? Loved? What do your daydreams reveal about your wishes and dreams for your future?

14. If Walter Mitty were in high school, and you were his guidance counselor, what job would you suggest for him to pursue as an adult. Please take into account his dreams, as well as his reality.

15. Even though his wife nags him, do you think she is justified? Is he totally innept?

16. Is his daydreaming normal?

17. What do you think is the source of most of his daydreams? Popular Culture, Newspapers, Movies, Novels, Magazines?

18. Do you think that there is pressure on men, to lead ultra masculine lives?

19. List some influences in current movies and media that elevate the manliness standards of our culture.

20. How does this story act as a perfect conclusion to our American Literature study? What is the point of the story? How do we connect to it, in our own personal desire to bring MEANING to our lives?

21. Do you know of anyone who is like Walter Mitty?

22. What do you want to do with your life? Instead of just settling for normal, come up with at least three things that you would LOVE to do before you die. And come up with a plan to make it happen. What would you have to do to save up or accomplish that goal? Or do you think that normal is good? Is normal what you want to celebrate with your life–just simple living and loving Jesus?

23. Do you think that daydreaming as a form of escapism is healthy spiritually? Why or why not?

24. If you had to pick 4 Biblical scenarios that you would like to picture yourself as the hero/main character of, which would you pick?

25. As Christians, we should not strive to live to please our own sinful nature, but we should live boldly for Christ. How can we use the theme of this story as an encouragement to not waste our life daydreaming about things that boost our ego, but living bravely and selflessly for Christ? Please pick someone from the Bible and discuss how this person is a true hero. Someone a Christian should aspire to live like.

26. The movie is a little different, because it gives him the dignity of quietly and humbly succeeding at his job, without much recognition. It shows the beauty of the ordinary man. And the potential inside of humanity. Why do you think the last line of the story is “Walter Mitty the Undefeated, inscrutable to the last”– what does that mean? Look up inscrutable. What is Thurber’s saying about Walter? Does Thurber have respect and admiration for him? What do you think?

Illusions, Names, Special Terms, and Malapropisms (CummingsStudyGuide.net)

Archies: Anti-aircraft weapons.
Auprès de Ma Blonde: French folk song composed in the 1600s. The title may be translated as “Near My Fair-Haired Lady” or “Next to My Dear One.” The French word blonde may also connote mistress. It is said that French soldiers sometimes sang the song when going into battle.
Coals to Newcastle: These words are often used as part of the phrase like carrying coals to Newcastle. Newcastle upon Tyne is a British city famous for the production and export of coal. To say that performing a certain task is like carrying coals to Newcastle is to say that one is executing a needless task.
Hydroplane: Seaplane; plane that can take off and land on water.
Liberty: Weekly feature magazine published between 1924 and 1950.
Von Richtman’s Circus: Von Richtman is an allusion to Manfred von Richtofen (1892-1918), an ace World War I German pilot known as the Red Baron. Circus is an allusion to the Flying Circus, a unit of elite pilots commanded by Richtofen.
Webley-Vickers 50.80: Made-up name for a gun. Webley and Vickers were separate British companies that manufactured weapons. Webley made service revolvers; Vickers made machine guns. (Vickers also constructed ships and aircraft).




20 thoughts on “Week 33–The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Spoken Word Poetry, and A. W. Tozer

  1. 1. I loved it when he said, “A halfway life is unprofitable to you. ‘Cause, after all of the Sunday services, Bible studies, and prayer meetings and everything that goes in between, God will say ‘I never knew you’.” He plays with double meanings (such as when he spoke about the envelope stamped a sinner and mailed by guilt that was ALMOST DELIVERED. Get it? The mail is almost deliver to the receiver as we are almost delivered from our sins and to God.) to emphasize visual effects. The entire time, I could see the visuals in my mind whenever he spoke!

  2. 1. One thing that made me exclaim was when he was saying about people not really worshiping, but just singing along “I will surrender all…MOST”. He plays with words and double meanings by using them to build up his concept of “almost”.
    2. Some metaphors she uses are when she talks about him being “kinda sorta”. I really like this poem 🙂
    3. His use of comparisons prove his point by showing us how ridiculous the concept of almost is in Christianity really is.
    4. I love the honesty of the last one, and the way she uses words as rhythm.

  3. 1. The two things he said that stuck out to me were “See almost is not stranger to Satan, here’s proof, he only tells lies when there almost the truth,” and “if almost is one of Lucifer’s many traits then we are as good as Satan personations.” *I didn’t put what he originally said cause he said it too fast for me to understand it all, and subtitles didn’t help* He used word double meaning in how he said he was mail stamped a sinner, and by guilt was ALMOST delivered.

    2. She used, “Arteries so clogged up with my own will blocked His will from flowing through me.”

    3. His comparisons prove his point because he uses them to give a visual picture of what hes talking about. By word meanings, the one that stuck out to me the most was when he said, “We have all worked sin and death is minimum wage, but if it wasn’t for Christ, we would’ve almost got paid.”

    4. You Just Lost One was a letter to satan saying she was done listening to him, their relationship was done, and she wasn’t allowing satan to rule her life anymore. I liked it in a sense because we should all feel this way towards satan, it was true and to the point.

  4. #1. “We have all worked in sin, and death was minimum wage. but if it wasn’t for Christ, we would have almost got paid.” (snap) (snap). I don’t get what was meant by “how he plays with words and double meanings.” I can’t seem to understand. The only thing that stood out was when he brings up “almost”. I guess he plays with the word almost, trying to get in into us, that we are almost good enough. Just a guess though :/.

    #2. She uses Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Solomon, Moses, Abraham, Daniel, Paul, David, Noah, Joseph, the disciples, Matthew, Mark, Ester, Ruth, Lydia, Marry, Hannah. She uses the Bible as her metaphor.

    #3. Isn’t #3 the same as the 2nd part of #1? (I will come back to this once I find out)

    #4. To start, I like how she starts off with a letter to Satan. Throughout the poem, she explains the struggle that every Christian goes through, and she gives a simple answer to stay away from sin: it isn’t worth it. These 3 poems, were very deep. I liked seeing the people snap when ever they said something deep.

  5. 1.From the first video, tell me one thing that made you say, “Oh snap!” and then tell me how he plays with words and double meanings.
    “An almost Christian looks right but lives wrong.” He uses double meanings to give visual perspectives with spiritual meanings to help us understand, like an example.

    2. What metaphors does Jeanette-Ikz use in her poem “I will wait for you?”
    One metaphor was when she said the guys was a liar, abuser, thief, etc.

    3. “Almost Saved” uses a lot of comparisons too. How does his use of comparisons prove his point? Also, give me an example of how he plays with word meanings.
    For example, “Your body is God’s home which wasn’t loan to get foreclosed on.” He uses his comparisons to give you a deeper understanding of what he means.

    4. What do you think of “You Just Lost One?”
    I liked it. A lot of things she touched on were personal struggles. Such as the music I listen to and me following Christ when I’m older after I have “fun”. So, I got convicted a few times. It wasn’t my favorite of the three though. I would say I loved “Almost Saved” the most. 🙂

  6. 1.
    I liked every thing he said to be honest, there was no specific moment I liked, but he uses double meanings to get double perspectives to impact and compare to Christians and non Christians

    She uses the bible as a metaphor in her poems

    He uses his comparisons by giving double meanings. “Your body is God’s home which wasn’t loan to get foreclosed on.”

    4. I thought her poem was good. I like how it was directed to Satan.

  7. 1. The way he says “almost” is a commonly used word and how he showed it can also be a very dangerous word.
    2. She uses Abraham with Sarah and Isaac with Rebecca as a metaphor of her and the other guy she talks about.
    3. The comparison is people who are actually Christians or believers and the almost Christians who try to see how far they can go thinking they aren’t entirely sinning.
    4. I love how she straight up says to Satan that their relationship is done.
    5. Yee!

  8. 3. When using comparisons, he reveals the truth about luke-warm Christianity, thus making it unappealing. If it is unappealing, more people are bound to stick with his point and agree with him that luke-warm Christianity is wrong.

  9. 4. You just lost one was amazing! It actually made a lot of sense to me. God totally showed me this week that I was giving the enemy too much power. When Satan would draw a demonic looking face on my window screen, I’d just repent and wash it. When Satan would follow me into the store and over the loud speaker he’d sing, I’d just ignore it and sing my own songs about Him. When Satan would try to enter my house, but he couldn’t so he tried to scare me with a mouse on my roof. When Satan would try to make lust reappear, but I’d just say, “No, be gone! You won’t find that here.” Well, I’m through. I’m done being afraid. I really thought I was trusting Christ all of my days. So now I’m done: my control isn’t to you. Christ’s got control. Satan, you just lost another too.


    1.One thing that made me say, “Oh snap!” was when he said “On that final day will He say, ‘Well done,’ or… *pretends to cut a steak, eat it, and spit it out* medium rare.” This is an example of how he plays with words and double meanings. Another example would be him saying, “We’ve all worked in sin, and death was minimum wage. But if it wasn’t for Christ, we would’ve almost got paid.”

    2. The metaphors that Jeanette-Ikz used in her poem “I will wait for you” included, “Cause I was always the bridesmaid, but never the bride.” , “…Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter, not knowing the value of it’s use to be.” , and “…So through my sternum He sawed and cracked open my chest, to transplant Psalms 51:10.”

    3. He uses comparisons to prove his point. The point was not to be lukewarm, for you should be either all for Christ or not at all. Lukewarmness is an area that we should stay away from. An example of how he plays with word meanings is when he says, “So now all God sees is a pile of Ishhh-maels when he intended for Isaacs.”

    4. “You Just Lost One.” was a well written poem. Addressing it as a letter was creative. I liked it because it is reminder where we were before we fully committed ourselves to Christ. We were dead in our sins and under Satan’s bondage. We now, are no longer under that bondage. We are a new person in Christ, and our relationship with Satan is done. We need to continually stand fast, remain strong in our faith,walk in His footsteps, and allow Him to take control. This poem, was overall powerful.

  11. I don’t have chapter 6 of The Dangers of a Shallow Faith because we weren’t at church Sunday, but we might go this Sunday I don’t know yet.

    1. I know, it is okay Nait. I know that your family has a LOT going on right now. I think Dustin put it in your homeschool folder in the office. So if you come to church before the 22 you can get it, but I will let you turn it in late.

  12. Mrs. Brandi, thank you so much for all of the points you’ve given us for so many things this year! ~ I may or may not have forgotten that my grammar book existed for a while… BUT I am on page 219 out of 345. Would this take a huge chunk out of my grade?

  13. I was in school the week we were in and was in church both Wednesday and Sunday and I got nothing on “The Dangers of Shallow Faith” book. I can’t bring anything on the 22nd if I didn’t get anything.

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