“Once Upon A Time.” By Nadine Gordimer

719 words - 3 pages

"Once Upon a Time" was first published in 1989. Nadine Gordimer was born in 1923 near Johannesburg, South Africa. She graduated from the University of Witwatersrand. A prolific writer, Gordimer has published more than twenty books of fiction. When Nadine Gordimer was asked to write a children's story she replied with a short story called "Once Upon a Time". Although Gordimer's title is typical of a fairy tale, the story she weaves is anything but typical. Instead of dealing with characteristics synonymous with fairy tales, the author injects an issue that plagues modern day society: security, fear and peace of mind. Gordmier also comments on racial discrimination (that was and is still a problem for South Africa and nearly all other countries).The story opens with Gordimer awakened by a bump in the night and cannot go back to sleep due to her fear (a similar situation many people have experienced). "I have no burglar bars, no gun under my pillow, but I have the same fears as people who do take these precautions…" To better convey the idea of society's preoccupation with safety, Gordimer begins to tell herself a bedtime story. In the story there is a family who is "living happily ever after"; they live in the suburbs, have a mini-van, pets and a little boy. Everything seems so blissful, except the family's fixation with their own security. The family feels they must put their trust in security devices in order to feel at peace. For a brief while, the family feels secure by posting a plaque stating "YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED" over the silhouette of a prospective intruder. Not too long after this, the old, familiar feeling of uncertainty and discomfort creeps back in. The family then decides to install burglar bars in their home. At this point it is quite evident that the family's pursuit of security has made them literal prisoners in the very home they live in. "From the window and door in the house where they were living happily ever after, now saw the trees and the sky through bars." Conveyed in a slightly more subdued...

Find Another Essay On “Once Upon a Time.” by Nadine Gordimer

Fear in Once upon a Time - Essay

728 words - 3 pages Fear Describe the main idea or purpose in the text you have studied. Explain why the idea or purpose helped you remember the text. Set at the time of the apartheid in South Africa, Once Upon a Time by Nadine Gordimer is a short story about a town’s obsession with security, particularly a family consisting of a couple and their little son. The family is depicted as having an overwhelming fear, which progressively becomes excessive. This fear

Gabriel Okara: Analysing "Once upon a time"

787 words - 3 pages THE speaker in this poem reminisces about a time when people were sincere and caring in their dealings with one another; he speaks regretfully about the present time, when people are not like before. He seems to feel that people have lost the innocence and openness which he now sees in his young son; he wants to regain that innocence.The poem starts with the well-known words "Once upon a time", suggesting that what the speaker is going to say is

Once Upon A Time In The West

2398 words - 10 pages What techniques and methods does Sergio Leone use within 'Once upon a time in the West' to maintain the interest of the viewer? Between 1960 and 1975, 600 westerns were produced. Critics ignored these films, and because Italian companies financed most of them, they called them Spaghetti Westerns. Fans loved this term, which is now fondly used to label any Western made and financed by foreign filmmakers.Europeans have always loved Westerns and

Criticism of Once upon a Time in the West Directed by Sergio Leone

1755 words - 7 pages Criticism of Once upon a Time in the West Directed by Sergio Leone Once upon a Time in the West, directed by Sergio Leone, is a story of evil and vengeance (with a dose of mystery) set in the American West. As the story develops, characters are introduced who are essential to an understanding of the plots. Since there are two simultaneously developed story lines, the maturation of each character provides the viewer

The Irony and Symbolism of Once Upon a Time

712 words - 3 pages This short story, Once Upon a Time, by Nadine Gordimer has irony and symbolism within it. The story does not contain the irony and symbolism just for fun, they all play a part in an underlying theme present in this short story. With the use of irony and symbolism, Nadine Gordimer shows us the dangers of becoming overprotective of something or somebody. Furthermore, some of the irony is in the end of Once Upon a Time. The child of the husband

Once Upon A Time in America Vs. Goodfellas

1792 words - 7 pages desperately would like to live. Thus, the main characters of GoodFellas and Once Upon a Time in America are very similar in certain respects including their gangster lives which are characterized by economic expansion, the drugs and liquor that they deal among society, their treatment of women, and the deaths they cause and suffer which define their eventual downfalls.Throughout both GoodFellas and Once Upon a Time in America the viewer witnesses

Poems, Hide and seek and Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara Share a Theme of Childhood

1166 words - 5 pages Upon A Time’, written by Gabriel Okara, is a poem in which the writer reminisces about a time when people we’re more sincere and more authentic about themselves and the way they treated others, he speaks cynically about the present time, and begs for the past. Gabriel Okara in this poem feels people have lost their innocence and openness, that he now see’s in his son; he wants to regain that innocence and openness that he once had as a child

Robert Rodriguez Film Once Upon a Time in Mexico This is a structural review

2281 words - 9 pages . Rodriguez is the one-man band of modern-day filmmakers, creating his films not quite by himself, but nearly.The synopsis of the mythic guitar-slinging hero, El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) continues in Robert Rodriguez's courageous, non-stop action epic Once Upon a Time in Mexico. The new quest is set against the surroundings of revolution and greed. Haunted and scarred by death, El Mariachi has retreated into an existence of isolation. He is forced out

Once Upon A Time in America: The Use of the Mirror

569 words - 2 pages Directed by Sergio Leone, Once Upon a Time in America is a film that is placed as one of the top mobster movies ever assembled. The epic film chronicles the lives and loves of a band of Jewish mobsters from Brooklyn. Beginning with their boyhood in the 1920's, the film covers the story from the point of view of the aging troupe's clever ringleader, Noodles. He recounts the tale of a life filled with brutality, violence, betrayal, and love. Also

How do poets explore the subject of emotional attachments to different things and people in Remember by Christina Rossetti, Once Upon a time with

2023 words - 9 pages into that good night” as opposed of the persona’s acceptance towards death in Remember. Furthermore, Once Upon A Time, written by Gabriel Okara, is not very accepting of his present personality and is attached to his former self. The theme of attachment to his old attitude is stated in the last two stanzas, as he hopes his son can reteach him how to be “human” again. Abundant use of punctuation and no rhyming is used to establish a slow and

HOW DO THE POETS PORTRAY A POIGNANT SENSE OF LOSS IN ‘ONCE UPON A TIME’, ‘PIANO’, ‘MOTHER IN A REFUGEE CAMP’ AND THREE OTHER POEMS?

2969 words - 12 pages A loss is defined as a feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value (quoted from oxforddictionaries.com). Everyday we experience a loss of one kind or another. It could be the loss of time, the loss of memory, or just the loss of personal belongings. However, these losses are very minor and don’t affect us in a significant way. Many works of literature explore this feeling. In the poems ‘Once Upon a Time’ by Gabriel Okara and

Similar Essays

Once Upon A Time By Nadine Gordimer College Essay

1463 words - 6 pages story of an intruder (white supremacy) and the havoc he wreaks. Gordimer ends "Once Upon a Time" with violence. A Literary Analysis of Nadine Gordimer’s “Once Upon a Time” By Emily Hines In Nadine Gorider’s “Once Upon a Time”, the most important element is its theme. The entire story is set about telling its readers that human beings create their own destruction. The setting of the two parts of the story is important as well as the ironic structure

Once Upon A Time Essay

1932 words - 8 pages BOOK ONE: Once Upon A Time Autumn is a marvelous time in Brooks Valley. The sunset reflects orange along Brooks Valley River. Fat leaves turn yellow, red, orange and then flutter like feathers to form a soft bed upon the ground. It is a time of warm earthy colors, from the various shades of pink and red that dot tiny noses and cheeks to the irascible red orange glow of our firelight. And the smells! The smell of smoke from the fire, hot

Once Upon A Time Essay

3283 words - 14 pages Once Upon A Time Charles sat on the edge of his bed early that morning, his feet grazed lightly against the cold wooden floor beneath him, and his large wrinkled hands covered his aging face. Small rays of light began to peek in announcing the arrival of morning. Dropping his hands from his face he sighed in exhaustion. Rising to his feet, he grabbed the clothes that lay across his lap before setting off towards the bathroom. In the bathroom he

Once Upon A Time: Storytelling Essay

1587 words - 7 pages bond with the family and their tribes. In Azar Nafisi’s “Selections of Reading Lolita in Tehran”, she uses various literary works to share different experiences with her students. Different books were discussed by Nafisi to give the students insight on the world outside of their own. Whereas Tim O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” defines the purpose of a war story while telling his own about his experience in Vietnam with his battle