Neighbours by Tim Winton | Summary | Question Answer PDF

About Writer

Tim Winton was an Austrian novelist and writer who was born on 4 August 1960. He writes novels for both child and adult which deals with both the experience of life in and the landscape of his native country. He competed with 35 other novelists for The Australian Literary Award resented for the best-unpublished novel manuscript and won the prize in 1982 for his manuscript. Winton also wrote many stories in which ‘Neighbours’ is one of them. The ‘Neighbours’ story was taken from Migrants of Australia edited by Harwood Lawler.

Main theme/Idea of the story “Neighbours”

It is a story about a newly married couple living in a multicultural and multilingual suburb (an outlying district of a city, especially a residential one) neighbourhood. It shows that cultural and linguistic barriers cannot stop people from bestowing ( प्रदान गर्दै) love and compassion. Every member of society is like a part of the same family. There is no place for the things like ethics, culture.

Neighbours by tim winton

Summary:

The story “Neighbours” was written by Tim Winton, an Austrian novelist. This story tells us that cultural and linguistic barriers cannot stop people from bestowing ( प्रदान गर्दै) love and compassion. This story also tells us that how much neighbours are important for us, no matter what their culture, tradition, and ethics. They all become like a part of the same family when we are living together in the same society.

This story starts, when a new-married young couple first comes to their new home, they feel strange because of the new place and neighbourhood and their new culture dress and language. Their street is full of European migrants. On their left, a Macedonia family lives, and on the right, a widow is living there who was from Poland. A new couple’s house is small but it has a high ceiling and paned window which give them the feel of the stylish cottage. From his study window, a young man sees a car yard, rooftop, Moreton Bay (a bay located on the eastern coast of Australia) (park) where he goes on a walk with their dog.

Before coming to a new home, he used to live in a residential area where good neighbours were seldom seen and never heard. So, they assumed their new neighbour is the same. Young couples have prejudices about their neighbours.

Macedonia family make shouted and ranted to new married young couple due to the unwanted sound that comes from their room like washing, spitting, etc. This also makes a bad impression. It took six months for a young couple to understand their neighbour only talking, not more than that.

The old polish man hammering the nails uselessly. He hammering the nails to woods to put out it again. He only hammering the nail all time but does not make anything. And also, he dislikes a boy next to his door who urinated in the street. He once saw him spraying urine on the cat from the back step. The child’s head is always shaved. When he suddenly encounters the boy, he becomes afraid and nervous because of his (cobalt eyes) bluish-gray. So, he doesn’t feel uncomfortable with them for too many months. They feel strange and unpleasant and irritating there.

In the autumn, the young couple cleared rubbish from their backyard and turned and manured the soil, and start planting vegetables. The neighbour suggests advice to a young man, the ways of planting vegetables, how to spacing, hilling, mulching. He pays proper attention to their advice. And also, a big woman with black eyes and a butcher’s arms gave her a bagful of garlic cloves to plant.

After some time, he built a henhouse but it fell down. A polish man who disturbs him at the beginning comes without invitation and rebuilt it. They didn’t understand the word he speak after helping because of their difference in their language. Now, They share their things with their neighbours like cabbage, fire hood in autumn, etc. And they assist each other in the work.

The young man works on his thesis on developing the twenties century novel. He also cooks and does other housework and his wife works outside in Hospital. This surprised the neighbours.

The couple learns many things from Macedonian family-like slaughter (kill an animal for food), how to dress etc. Now, the couple feels comfortable with them. They enjoy telling stories etc. with each other. They find themselves shouting along with neighbours and feel intoxicated towards neighbours. Now, they are closer to their neighbours despite their cultural difference, language differences, etc.

In the beginning, the young couple doesn’t like their neighbours. It was due to the prejudice of their neighbours. Because in the beginning, neighbours disturbed the young couple by producing different types of unwanted noise. But now, they like their neighbours and developed a positive attitude toward their neighbours.

A young couple didn’t plan for a child but after sometimes a young woman gets pregnant. When neighbours knew about their pregnancy, People smiled tirelessly at them. One neighbour gives him a small gift that contains chocolates. Someone puts the name of the coming child, someone predicts the new gust (child) is a boy. And one neighbour gives the baby a suit, complete with booties and beanie. All the neighbours love, care for them during their pregnancy time. The young woman feels happy, grateful.

Neighbours would assisted the young women in a hard time of pregnancy. When a baby is a birth, whole neighbours celebrate it and welcome the new guest (child) in the world. After seeing his baby and the helping nature and positive attitude of neighbours the young man crying. And he realizes that twentieth-century novel had not prepared him for this.

Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

Describe how the young couple’s house looked like.

A new couple’s house was small but it has a high ceiling and paned window which give them the feel of the stylish cottage. From his study window, a young man sees a car yard, rooftop, Moreton Bay (a bay located on the eastern coast of Australia) (park) where he goes on a walk with their dog.

How did the young couple identify their neighbours in the beginning of their arrival?

A young couple has prejudice about their neighbours at the beginning of their arrival. Before coming to a new home, he used to live in a residential area where good neighbours were seldom seen and never heard. So, they assumed their new neighbour is the same. And also, in the beginning, her neighbours make different types of unwanted noise like which disturb and irritate them. This brings a bad impression at the beginning of the story.

How did the neighbours help the young couple in the kitchen garden?

The young couple cleared rubbish from their backyard and turned and manured the soil, and start planting vegetables. The neighbour suggests advice on a couple of ways of planting vegetables, how to spacing, hilling, mulching. He pays proper attention to their advice. And also, a big woman with black eyes and a butcher’s arms gave her a bagful of garlic cloves to plant.

Why were the people in the neighborhood surprised at the role of the young man and his wife in their family?

The people in the neighbourhood were surprised at the role of the young man and his wife in their family because generally in our culture, everybody has a concept that men do jobs out of the home and women were made for doing household work only. But in the case of a young couple, there is just the opposite; the woman is doing work out of the house and the man is doing household work and writing his thesis all day. This surprised their neighbours.

How did the neighbours respond to the woman’s pregnancy?

When neighbours know about their pregnancy. People smiled tirelessly at them. One man gives him a small gift which contains chocolates, someone puts the name of the coming child, someone predicts the new gust (child) is a boy, someone gives the baby a suit, complete with booties and beanie. All the neighbours love, care for them during their pregnancy time.

Why did the young man begin to weep at the end of the story?

Neighbours would assist the young women in a hard time of pregnancy. When a baby is a birth, whole neighbours celebrate it and welcome the new guest (child) in the world. After seeing his baby and the helping nature of neighbours the young man made a cry. And he realizes that twentieth-century novel had not prepared him for this.

Why do you think the author did not characterize the persons in the story with proper names?

I think the author did not characterize the person in the story with proper names for focusing on multiculturism rather than individualist. The writer wants to explain the cultural identity difference and linguistic differences and geographical differences in the story. This also helps the writer to explain how people play role models in society even from different cultural backgrounds and linguistic backgrounds. The writer wants to draw the attention of the reader to the multiculturism and linguistic differences of people living in the society rather than individualistic.

Reference to the context

The story shows that linguistic and cultural barriers do not create any obstacle in human relationship. Cite some examples from the story where the neighbours have transcended such barriers.

This story shows that linguistic and cultural barriers do not create any obstacle in human relationships. In the story, we see that different types of people are living in a society that comes from different cultural, religious backgrounds and also from different countries whom language differs from one another. But they all living together like a family.
In this story, at the initial, the young couple doesn’t like their neighbours. It is due to the prejudice of their neighbours because, in the beginning, neighbours disturb the young couple by producing different types of unwanted noise. But now, they like their neighbours and develop a positive attitude toward their neighbours. This also shows that new neighbours take some time to adjust as a member of the same family (society).

The last sentence of the story reads “The twentieth-century novel had not prepared him for this.” In your view, what differences did the young man find between twentieth-century novels and human relations?

The last sentence of the story reads “The twentieth-century novel had not prepared him for this”. The young man finds that the things written in the novel are not exactly or similar to the real world life of humans. In the real world, humans have to face different difficulties, unpredictable conditions, and marvel events. Like in the story, a young man is unknown about the pregnancy. The things written in the novel are far different from what we experience in real life. So in the last of the story, he realizes that the twentieth-century novel had not prepared him for this.

A Nepali proverb says “Neighbours are companions for wedding procession as well as for funeral procession.” Does this proverb apply in the story? Justify.

A Nepali proverb says “Neighbours are companions for wedding procession as well as for funeral procession”. Yes, this proverb perfectly applies to the story. This proverb says the in the wedding procession means in the happiness and funeral procession means in the situation of sadness, on both conditions neighbours are companions(साथी).
In this story, a young couples’ neighbours are love, care for them(young man and woman) not only in their happy life but also in the pain at the time of pregnancy. This also shows that how much neighbours are important for us, no matter what is the culture, tradition of neighbours. They all became like a part of the same family when we are living together in the same society.

The author has dealt with an issue of multiculturalism in the story. Why do you think multiculturalism has become a major issue in the present world?

Multiculturalism refers to the state of a society or the world in which the number of distinct ethnic and cultural groups living.
It has become a major issue in the present world because it invites a number of social problems like conflict, discrimination, grouprism, etc. Multiculturalism also may be the reason for the high crime rate, political instability, discrimination in the recruitment, selection, and promotion of the job.

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