What is the point of view of the story "Once Upon a Time" by Nadine Gordimer?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The beginning of "Once Upon a Time" is told in first person point of view. The beginning constitutes a frame in which Nadine Gordimer, speaking for herself, protests the notion that an artist/author can be required to write a specific work by anyone (she forgets, of course, that historically most art work was commissioned...).

That night, Gordimer hears a noise in her house that alarms her. To put herself to sleep, she tells herself a "bedtime story," which introduces the real substance of "Once Upon a Time." The horror story she tells herself about a happy family whose search for security in an insecure world is laid upon the wrong foundation, that of fear of "the other," is told in third person point of view. Third person point of view comprises a narrator of the action and events who is outside the story and has access to character's thoughts, motives and feelings.