Once Upon a Time Questions and Answers
by Nadine Gordimer

Once Upon a Time book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In the story, "Once Upon A Time" by Nadine Gordimer, how does the author shift the structure from an autobiographical account to a bedtime story? 

Expert Answers info

Carter Westfall eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookB.A. from University of the Western Cape, South Africa


calendarEducator since 2014

write1,246 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The first part of the story is written from a first-person perspective. The author writes from her own point of view, divulging her own fears and uncertainties and expressing her thoughts. The narrative is presented as a factual account of what she experienced when alone at home. She tells the reader that she was restless and could not sleep and therefore told herself a bedtime story so that she may do so, as parents often do when they put their young children to bed. This serves as an introduction to the main story.

The second part is written in the form of a fairy tale and the narrative is written from the viewpoint of an omniscient, all-knowing third-person perspective. The tale is seemingly told in the form of a fairy tale, for one can observe what appears to be...

(The entire section contains 422 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial