Analysis Of Once Upon A Time By Nadine Gordimer

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“You can’t protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” This quote by Jonathan Safran Foer shows us that no person can protect himself from everything bad without blocking out the good too. In “Once Upon a Time” by Nadine Gordimer, one of the main themes is that it is impossible for people to protect themselves from everything bad in life. In this short story, a wife who lives in a nice suburban neighborhood is terrified of being robbed. Her fear drives her to become extremely anxious. This anxiety makes her buy all sorts of security devices which eventually lead to the death of her son. The wife’s goal is to protect her house and family from everything bad in their neighborhood. As a consequence of this, she gets super paranoid and ends up killing her son after he gets stuck in her barbed wire fence. After her son gets stuck in the barbed wire, she realizes that there is no way that any person can protect themself from all the terrible things in life. Therefore, because the wife’s motivation to protect her family causes her to accidentally kill her own son, Gordimer shows that people cannot protect themselves from the terrible things in life.
Primarily, the wife is motivated to protect her family and house, no matter the cost. Towards the beginning of the story, the wife is becoming uneasy about someone breaking into her house. She shows us how anxious and paranoid she is when the story says, “Yet she was afraid that someday such people might

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