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Once Upon a Time Analysis Cloze Version

Once Upon a Time Analysis Cloze Version

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Published by William Burn
An analysis of Gabriel Okara's 'Once Upon a Time' for you to complete. Try to fill in the gaps with quotations and appropriate terms.
An analysis of Gabriel Okara's 'Once Upon a Time' for you to complete. Try to fill in the gaps with quotations and appropriate terms.

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Published by: William Burn on Feb 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE speaker in this poem reminisces about a time when people were ___________ and _________________ in their dealings with one another; he speaks ______________ about the present time, when people are not like before. He seems to feel that peoplehave lost the _______________ and _______________ which he now sees in his youngson; he wants to regain that innocence.The poem starts with the well-known words “______________________________”,suggesting that what the speaker is going to say is a _______________________,something so far-fetched it might not even be believed. This makes us think that honestyin expressing emotion is so rare nowadays that it practically is a fairy tale.The poet creates a contrast between “__________________” and“__________________”. “____________________” suggests deep, honest emotion.Thus, when people laughed or shook hands “__________________________”, their emotions came from within. Now, however, they laugh “_______________________”,not with their eyes. It is an old saying that the eyes are the windows of the soul, but theyfor Okara, the difference between ‘real’ emotion and emotions performed for publicdisplay is to be found here.If someone laughs with their eyes, we can see their emotions. But teeth, which are _____________________, ____________________, and ________________________,reveal nothing. And the people’s eyes have now become “_____________________”,revealing no warmth. People are now dishonest (while shaking hands, they use the lefthand to “_____________________________”) and insincere, saying things they do notmean.The speaker tells us that he has learnt to deal with this hard, insincere world bybecoming __________________________________________; he too hides his realemotions and speaks words he clearly does not mean. He describes his behaviour in aninteresting way, saying that he has learnt“______________________________________” – like dresses, he changes his ‘face’,taking one off and exchanging it for something more suitable:“_____________________________________________” and so on.We can look at these faces as a series of masks or false faces, which show no realemotion. These faces, unlike hearts, are not sincere. But they are not the faces of evilpeople either. They are, in fact, the ‘social’ faces that everyone has to put on in order todeal with all the people they are likely to encounter in their lives. Most of us do wear different ‘faces’ – that is, we do behave differently – depending on whether we are athome or the office or school or a party.The speaker wants to be as innocently sincere as his young son. He wants to“_________________________________”; this suggests that he has learnt how tobehave in a way which “mutes” or silences his real emotions. He wants to get rid of hisfalse laugh which “____________________________________________” – thecomparison with the snake’s fangs makes the false, mask-like smile seem dangerous.The speaker regrets the loss of his innocence, but hopes his son can teach him.

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