The Analysis Of Short Story “ Once Upon A Time”

Main idea about story:

He says that family is prerequisite to chiefly keep its own house. And be terrified for their lives yet, they are living “happily ever after”.

This state of affairs would be ironical because of a cessation of appearance and realism. The fact that the housemaid is the trustworthy one in the story is also sarcastic. Because stereotypically, house staff is deceitful and try to snip its employer’s chattels.

The irony of “Once Upon a Time” is a kid getting miffed by what was to shield particularly. Since bedtime stories are supposed to end happily. Irony carries the significance of the plot.

This is a pleasurable literary fanciful work which integrates all of the significant parts of an effective and interesting story. The organization of the plot makes the theme easy to understand. While other elements of characterization, symbolism, and irony zest up the story. “Once Upon a Time” by Nadine Gordimer is a splendid literary work.

He has evaluated “Once Upon a Time” from the perspective of a reverse fantasy tale. The reverse fantasy is a tale that normally ends happily ever after. But has a plot twist where the ending scene is painful.

The story begins as the writer describes that they are asked to pay for a collection of children’s literature. The next jiffy while lying in bed they are rudely awakened by a disturbing noise in his house. Which rests upon a hollow base. To make himself peaceful, he begins to create a bedtime story in his mind.

The first part of the short story does not yet seem to fit into the artistic harmony of the plot. It is necessary for understanding the theme of the complete work.

Explanation No: 1

The next half of the story starts with the details of a family living “happily ever after” in the suburb. The second story quickly presents the protagonists, who are the husband, wife, and their little boy.

 Although, having a large sign that reads “YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED” the wife particularly is very fearful. About keeping their house safe. And secure from the looming drunkards and riots, which are common in their region.

The trusted housemaid continues to give her instructions about how to keep their possessions and lives robber-free.

The strategy changes on to explain that the husband’s mother. Or “The wise old witch” purchases a metallic coil with shards enclosing it to top their barrier. Which lines the whole perimeter of the family’s home. Left to wonder what will happen to the cat. Which often comes as goes as he delights the story describes.

That even the cat rests just within the walls and does not try to challenge the walls. Hurriedly the ending of this plot becomes doomed as well as wonder. when the little boy wants to play make-believe. After listening to sleeping and tries to brave the sharp coils.

He cascades into the clutter of metal and heavy blood loss while the grower. And housemaid attempt to save him while his parents are worried. In some ways, the ending of the story is imprecise. Because it gives no careful evidence of the resulting actions of the boy like if he lives or dies.

Although left with a sort of cliff-hanger the artistic unity of the plot. Leads to a full sympathetic of the stories and the link between them.

He argues that literary works express the secret unconscious desires and worries of the author.

The story centres on the imagination and handed down beliefs that make people prisoners of fear. This dogma divided the people of South Africa into smaller ethnic groups with the Whites being supreme.

Explanation No: 2

He discusses and explores the idea of master-slave relations in South Africa, which is known as “Apartheid”. She observes the rules and regulations of the White, the upper class.

It organizes the dominant political belief that black and white under separated from their homelands. The apartheid creates isolation, paranoia, and violence not only for native Africans. And colonizers but for the white ruling class that benefits from the system.

Her writings can only be understood against the historical backdrop of South African apartheid. The policies and laws are massive social and political experiments that connect from 1948 to 1990 in the four southernmost provinces of Africa. Which is known as South Africa.

The southernmost region of Africa was colonized. By Dutch colonizers fleeing from European religious discrimination in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In South Africa the most important event that National Party victory in the general election. In 1948, has achieved mostly by manipulating the racial fears of the white population.

This racial ghettoization would become discrimination. The ideology behind apartheid is simple, the various racial groups occupying South Africa are not suitable. And should be kept as separate as possible.

The Government has well-known “Homelands” for the native African clans, which reservation that is loosely band on traditional geography.

In the area the white people limited the facilities of black people like educational setting up separate. And informed schooling system, Apartheid made it illegal to many or have sexual intercourse with someone not of your race.

By 1991 when “Once Upon a Time” is published in jump and other stories. The South African government had already announced that it would work toward a more democratic government.

Explanation no 3:

Gordimer is never imprisoned or deported but much of her work is banned by the national party.

The narrator utilizes images of fragility and violence “windowpanes thin as rime” (P.200) could shatter like a wine glass (P.201).

Gordimer’s story dramatizes how the creation of an economic system that kept natives poor. And concentrated wealth in the hands of a small ruling class creates crime, paranoia, and fear “Prison architecture” (P.202).

Hundreds of people are killed when police again opened fire into crowds of protecting students. Ultimately, “Once Upon a Time”. Is a fable about loneliness, isolation, fear, even her fantasies are infected with the tough realities of life. The Postcolonial and neo-colonial influence continues even after the official colonial rule has ended.

The writer hints at a decade-long systematic segregation of races in South Africa, a period known as ‘Apartheid’.

Gordimer boons as a ‘’fairy tale’’ the author daubs a picture of an inhabited upper-class family. And the barriers they construct around their property to protect themselves from the people of alternative color.

 In ‘’Once Upon a Time,’’ Nadine Gordimer’s depiction of the trusted housemaid exposes a subtle. But prominent symptom of institutionalized racism by the harmful division that occurs within groups. Ultimately the housemaid’s actions are not echoes of their inherent racism. But the product of the larger social context of the society.

Additionally, she says that repetition of one simple adjective to describe the housemaid trusted is particularly effective for the readers.

Consequently, of the high responsibility, she holds in the hands of a housemaid. So that is intensely aware of the danger of intrusion by those on the other side of the house. These facts are key to thoughtful the trusted housemaid’s actions and character in the story.

He shares his views in different perspectives, especially it contains many literary aspects.

In his essay (Literary Analysis of ‘Once upon a time). He attempts to analyze all literary important characteristics of the story. In the story first his viewpoint is dedicated to the first character. As being asked to write a short story for children. But refuses, then how she comes to tell herself a bedtime story while lying awake unable to sleep.


In the story first, his viewpoint is dedicated to the first character. As being asked to write a short story for children. But refuses, then how she comes to tell herself a bedtime story while lying awake unable to sleep.

At last, the miserable parents lose their little boy as he gets killed as a sequence their paranoia. And preoccupied mind with prejudice about the outside world and the people of a different color.

The story contains various symbols. These symbols lead to the allegorical aspect of fantasy. However, this story is considered a reverse fantasy.

The husband’s mother is named “The Wise Old Witch” which is there in a lot of fantasy works. For example, in the three fairies of sleeping beauty are clever old witches. As well as Glinda from the Wizard of Oz.

The manifestation of the house and its security features are related to common castles. Which were protected by different obstacles like moats or curtain walls.

The company from which the family buys the metal coil is named ‘’DRAGON’S TEETH”. Dragons are very general in literary fantasies. The dragon symbol is significant to this story because the teeth allude to the danger of the fence coil.

These dragons represent the dangers within this family’s society. In some fantasy tales, one or more of the characters has a majestic. “right-hand man” like Rasputin has the bat in Anastasia. About the story, the housekeeper is the trustworthy assistant to the family in the way.

That she always gives those suggestions of how to better protect their house. The most apparent symbol of the story is a bid heroic mission. The child snatches a ladder to fare the jagged coil. In almost any fancy or fairy tale there is a heroine that must put themselves. In danger to succeed at their conventional task.

A little twist happens in this symbol when the little boy doesn’t succeed like normal protagonists. This symbol of the story is often where it is supposed to be a reverse fantasy. Another important element of literature in the story is wit and sarcasm. the section “happily ever after” is constantly repeated. Which is rather comic because they live in a felonious society.

She explains that the characterization of the story is not very philosophical. Indirectly presented each of the characters is moderately flat and static. The parents stay on the border through the entire story and the child does not change either. Also, the housemaid remains faithful and trustworthy.

These characters are not complex seeing as all that is known is their terror of the outside world. Even their names are not evident in the plot.

The abstractness of the story is used so that it is not related. To any other kind of stereotypical children’s bedtime story. Not being able to relate characters to others that are popular in children’s literature leads. Our minds to accept whatever happens in the tale.

The mind doesn’t have any expectation other than it thinks. There will be some kind of happy ending which is a frustration. The most important aspect is its plot that is interpreted. The subject of the story is “fear caused by our obsession can lead to a bigger problem. The obsession can ingest our mind.

The husband and wife are so consumed by shielding their house that they fail to enjoy what is inside it.

They are so preoccupied with its effect from the outside-in that they completely ignore to identify the existing problem.

Temporarily does their mind lie on the fate of their cat. The parents never warn their child of the potential dangers of the fence. Because they are so anxious about the possible threats from the outside world.

The fear of being robbed consumes the minds of the husband. And the wife to the point that, in a way, they neglect their child.

He articulates her idea that human beings build walls of prejudice, put within minds. The fear of threat to

own selves, causes to get isolate from the outside world, and human relationships. The main concentration of the story is that an unjust social system. It creates an environment of fear that can destroy both. Human beings are just selfish. They just think for themselves own self.

They explain that there are different works on this short story. And also different analyses have examined it in their way.

She said ‘Once Upon a Time’ (A social Fairy tale that has always been told to us as children). Whether to comfort or entertain us, they always seem to be a part of everyone’s childhood.

His title is a characteristic of a fairy tale. But she leads the story to an ending that is anything other than “happily ever after” (Gordimer, P. 2). Although Nadine Gordimer’s title is typical in a fairy tale in the story, she writes nothing but typical. The writer uses satire to reflect the idea of a human being prominent in their destruction.

He unveils the hidden meaning of the story of Nadine Gordimer. He declares that he has not seen a class, he has taught before re-reading any text with as much courtesy. And a turn-round focus as the students of Gordimer.

when he begins to suggest to them that his clichés are perhaps made of the same stuff. Like the social scientists’ stereotypes. His reading, from then on, urges us to look way beyond those socio-cultural stereotypes. And literary clichés that work on the osmotic principle of thicker and thinner fluids. Where it is supposed that a powerful imperial English will always troupe non-English peripheral selves as slow.

And corrupt that the edifying fiction of the empire will help slow people on the periphery. The catch up with the civilized centers of learning in good time. It is for nothing then, he argues, that Gordimer plays off social stereotypes against narrative clichés. In telling us this bizarre “bedtime story.”

The dispute in class takes a new turn from this argument.

At this point, its memories that the unknown white middle-class the couple always alerts and fixates on the security of their home and their only son strikes a reminiscent bell.

Moreover, seeing this as the narrator’s view in slaughtering two birds with one stone– by aligning narrative chestnuts with racist/apartheid categorizes. As she links clichés with stereotypes, we can see very well how they both deceive and are betrayed by, those who practice racial and élite-class perceptions.

The opinion is that neither literature nor society will make any progress. If it is still stuck in hoary ways if it carelessly repeats. The same old story of baseless prejudice and mutual fear.

If the class were able to read “Once Upon a Time” with as much ironic awareness as Gordimer guesses her readers would, she would be sure that the class will be able to escalate the larger and subtler satire of all ‘knowledge’ which we claim to produce a better society.

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