“Neighbours” is a short story written by Tim Winton and is about a young couple’s settlement in a new neighborhood.
They are moving from a suburban neighborhood to a neighborhood inhabited by immigrants from across Europe.
The shift in neighborhoods is a big change of scenery for the young couple. Next door, live both a Polish widower and a Macedonian family.
The story is being told through a third person omniscient narrator which means that the narrator relates all the action using third-person pronouns such as ‘they’, ‘he’, and ‘she’. It takes place in Australia, and from the beginning of the story, the European immigrant neighbors are introduced.
The main character is observing everything from a distance. It seems that the many different cultural backgrounds and the different heritages of the neighbors are puzzling him.
“The Macedonian family shouted, ranted, screamed. It took six months for newcomers to comprehend the fact their neighbors were not killing each other, merely talking.”(p. 1 l. 16-18).
This quote shows that instead of embracing and acknowledging their differences, he focuses on what, in his eyes, seems foreign and awkward.