Juvenalian Satire

Happily Ever After

Work Time

Look at the beginning of the second-to-last paragraph of “Once Upon a Time”:

“Next day a gang of workmen came and stretched the razor-bladed coils all round the walls of the house where the husband and wife and little boy and pet dog and cat were living happily ever after.”

As you answer the following questions, keep in mind what makes this paragraph satire and what the author is criticizing in the story. Take notes as you and your classmates discuss the sentence.

  • What’s happening in this sentence? Find and annotate the sentence, paying close attention to the words that are used, especially those that seem to contrast with one another.
  • Think back on fairytales that you have read or seen in movies when you were little and then find some similar elements in the story. Consider how these elements, alongside the horrific events of the story, create a powerful satire.
  • Is it effective satire? Is it enjoyable to read? Why or why not?

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