Give three characteristics for one main character in "Once Upon a Time."

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If we examine the character of the boy in this shocking short story about the dangers of fear and how in the end, it only hurts ourselves, we can see the following characteristics displayed. First of all, he is a boy who is fascinated by technology. Note how he reacts to the new security measures that are put in place by his anxious parents:

The little boy was fascinated by the device and used it as a walkie-talkie in cops and robbers play with his small friends.

Secondly, as the first quote also demonstrates, he is a very imaginative and creative child. He uses the various security devices that his parents install as props for his childhood games with his other friends and by himself. Lastly, he fails to distinguish between reality and his own fantasy world, as his tragic entrance into the dragon's teeth demonstrates:

Next day he pretended to be the Prince who braves the terrible thicket of thorns to enter the palace and kiss the Sleeping Beauty back to life: He dragged a ladder to the wall, the shining coiled tunnel was just wide enough for his little body to creep in, and with the first fixing of its razor teeth in his knees and hands and head he screamed and struggled deeper into its tangle.

It is this crucial inability to distinguish reality from fantasy that leads to the tragic ending of this story as he starts crawling into the wire and ends up probably dead or at least seriously maimed.


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Once Upon a Time

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