Analysis Of Once Upon A Time By Nadine Gordimer

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Once upon a time there was a system in South Africa called apartheid, which is used to divide colored and whites. They lived isolated from one another almost fearing the other race. This fear is portrayed in Nadine Gordimer’s short story from 1989 Once upon a time, where a white family from a suburb lives in caution in order to keep the colored away from their home but maybe that plan will end up backfiring. By analysing examples from the text, this essay will focus on the setting, the characters and fairy tale elements plus an interpretation of the tone.
The story takes place in a divided South Africa, in the end of the apartheid regime. The short story is set in South Africa. This can be seen by the use of African words like “baas” and “tsotsis” (p. 2, l. 24). In addition to this, it is also mentioned that there is growth of jacaranda trees, which is an endemic tree that grows particularly in South Africa. These examples support the fact that the short story is set in South Africa. The story is set in a divided society, where whites are the favoured. This is shown by the white’s anxious fear of the population of another color: “There were riots, but these were outside the city, where people of another color were quartered.” (p. 1 ll. 18-19). Furthermore, it is described as if these colored people are some kind of animals, who are not allowed to enter the suburb. Only the most trusted housemaids and gardeners are. The ones who do not have their breakthroughs as reliable

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