Once upon a time

Topics: Nadine Gordimer, Family, Fiction Pages: 4 (727 words) Published: December 4, 2014
Professor Kang
Once Upon a Time
In Nadine Gordimer's short story of "Once Upon a time", she creates a frame narrative that she is involved in which is companioned by a children’s story that she’s had no interest in writing. The theme supports a message stating that humans can become their own self destruction. Living happily ever after means good comes to those who’ve worked hard and have earned it, but this story is followed by a twist and “YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED" (Gordimer, 190) is repeated many times throughout the story which soon follows by a tragic ending.

Living happily ever after is followed by happy endings, and a satisfied outcome. Although children’s stories did not interest Gordimer, one night she told herself a fairy tale to sooth her paranoia after hearing an unfamiliar noise in her house. The tone in this story explains how situations for the family became more challenging when it was time to purchase much higher qualified security. The conflict they had to face with living in a nice part of the city, was dealing with thieves breaking into the most expensive homes which theirs happened to reside. The family was very oriented with each other, and care for their safety and well beings was most important. They lived in the suburbs, a man, his wife, their son and a dog. With very fortunate living, the family was able to afford anything that was going to keep the family safe. There were many riots and houses were being broken into which alarmed the family and made them take certain safety precautions. “There were riots, but these were outside the city, where people of another color were quartered. These people were not allowed into the suburb except as reliable housemaids and gardeners, so there was nothing to fear, the husband told the wife. Yet she was afraid that someday such people might come up the street and tear off the plaque YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED and open the gates and stream in…” (Gordimer, 190) The mood in the...

Cited: Gordimer, Nadine. “Once upon a Time.” Perrine’s Story and Structure: An Introduction to Fiction. 13th ed. Ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. 189-194.
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