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Neighbours

  • Date Submitted: 01/23/2012 01:41 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.8 
  • Words: 931
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Haven’t we all wished for just one peek into our friends’, family’s or neighbours’ lives when we are not around ourselves?   Wished to be a fly on the wall, just for a while?
We are curios people, who prefer to know every little detail about the world surrounding us. We find other people’s secrets intriguing. This is also why reality TV has gained so much ground. Night after night on one channel or the other it is possible to get this inside look into both ordinary and unusual people’s lives. We use reality TV and its somewhat laughable participants to reflect and feel better about ourselves. The same thing goes for the gossip-world with its paparazzi photographers and eavesdropping. We like to know what is going on behind the closed curtains and doors.

In the short story: “Neighbours” exactly this issue is taken up to consideration. Because what happens when we get the chance to actually be the fly on the wall?
The narrator and his wife are your average couple, struggling with average problems like furnishing. They live in an average town called Eastbourne in the south of England. The couple haven’t got the most exhilarating social life; they don’t go out and don’t have people over for visits. It seems to the reader that they are stuck in a simple and boring life. When we meet the couple, the wife has bought a Feng Shui book to prevent their lives to become “stale and loveless” (l.8), because this is precisely what their lives are. We never hear about any romance, passion, tenderness or even humour between the two of them. It seems that after the six and a half years the couple have spent together the sparkle is gone, if it was ever there? “At these times we experienced at sense of closeness, of togetherness such as we had never really known in our married life” (l. 117)
It is because of this lack in social life and excitement in general that the glance into their neighbour’s lives gets so consuming. The neighbour’s lives are everything theirs aren’t,...

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