What are the metaphors used in "Once Upon a Time?"

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most dominant metaphor in the story is the sign on the house.  I feel that this is used as a constant reminder to so many.  The family use this as a warning to potential intruders.  Yet, this sign could also be a warning to the family that allowing their fears and paranoia to drive their consciousness is disastrous.  The idea of "YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED" is a metaphor, a comparison, of how the family refuses to accept their own fears and embrace them as part of being in the world.  Rather, it is an object that represents both the desire to project strength as well as a reflection of internal fear.  I think the sign is a metaphor because it compares the family to the outside world and also simultaneously internalizes the outside world in the family.  Another metaphor would be the wall, representing the "walling off" of the family from the outside world and also preventing them from fully understanding their own consciousness in this world.  It makes sense that this is the object that the little boy tries to climb, as he seeks to overcome this metaphor of isolation, only to be trapped on the top of it and die because of it.  A potential metaphor could be the frame story that serves as the exposition, in that it shows how different an appropriate response to fear can be.