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The frame narrative is the opening literary device that Gordimer uses in the story. In true postmodern fashion, she creates a story of which she is a part. Her defiance at the "need" to write a children's story coupled with her own paranoia at what creaks below is what causes the story to form. Both of these elements are thematically germane to what we end up reading in the story. In terms of the story itself, the thematic repetition of the family's happiness and how they were content with one another is an excellent juxtaposition to the unknown nature of the world, and the collision of both settings end up creating the horrific set of circumstances for the ending. Gordimer is really adroit at being able to use thematic and character development as a way to build the plot. Finally, the allegorical nature of the story is compelling in how it reflects the desire for perfection revealing a tale of destruction underneath. The symbolism of being so insistent on creating a world where one appropriates it in accordance to their own subjectivity without integrating the presence of the dialectical "other" in the process is something that Gordimer is quite deliberate in creating.
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