Tim Winton - Neighbours

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Belonging is the feeling of acceptance amongst the communities you are integrated and associated with, also the notion of being apart of a greater value through ones contact with a group. This may be through mutual interests, religious beliefs, education as well as age.

The short story Neighbours written by Tim Winton depicts a young newly married couple moving into a new suburb filled with Neighbours that were different culturally and socially friendly. This is a change from life living in the ‘outer suburbs where good neighbours were seldom seen and never heard.’ They must either begin to understand new culture or be faced with not belonging. The short story is written in third person without any names giving a less personal, narrated style of text.

At first the newly weds ‘feel like sojourners in a foreign land’, due to the high concentration of European migrants surrounding a house of difference, ‘cautious about the dog, a docile, moulting collie.’ The neighbours appearing frightened about their new neighbours dog displays a cultural clash, accented by alliteration and rhyme to greatly describe the seemingly nasty imagery of the new comer’s best friend. Contrasted to the young man’s ‘disgust as the little boy next door urinated on the street.’

The man stays at home and writes his thesis on the twentieth century novel, although treated with disapproval from his neighbours as they witness his wife leaving the house to make ends meet. The thesis though has a somewhat culturally significance in perceptions of Australians in the twentieth towards migrants. Neighbours have focused on European, non Anglo-Saxon immigrants in particular for social commentary on the matter. People tend to associate anyone who looks as well as behaves differently with illegal or immoral activity. These views however are always due to ignorance, leading to prejudice and discrimination. The neighbours can be seen as social enrichment towards the newly weds, whilst having...
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