Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Written in caustic response to an annoying academic, Nadine Gordimer supplies penetrating social
commentary on South African apartheid in her short story, “Once Upon a Time.” The author creates an
underlying uneasiness and obvious irony while following the traditional style reminiscent of bedtime stories,
with modern South African reality filling in for magical kingdoms. Rather than reform the unbalanced
societal structure of apartheid, a white family chooses to ignore the issue and simply add security measures
to their suburban home. The family?s attempt to live happily ever after during a time of social unrest is the
Gordimer?s sarcastic metaphor for the white South Africans and the self-inflicted harm caused by their own
lopsided social system.
The story begins with an anecdote reeking of symbolism. The author wakes in the middle of the night,

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