Briefing a Story: Next Door
The narrator in the short story is the author Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut uses dialogue between characters to set the atmosphere for the reader. The tone of Next Door is suspenseful because Vonnegut takes the reader on an adventure of an eight year-old boy who stays home alone for the first time while his parents go to a movie. 2.
There are 2 families in the story Next Door, the Leonards and the Hargers, whom are neighbors with very thin walls separating them. The Leonards are a husband, wife and have an eight-year old son, Paul. In the beginning of the story, Vonnegut portrays the Hargers are husband and wife whom are in the middle of a heated argument and as the argument escalates, Paul becomes afraid and decides to take action. 3.
Vonnegut portrays Mrs. Leonard to be an over protective mother to Paul while Mr. Leonard wants his boy to be a man at the age of eight. Early in the story, Vonnegut has the Leonards arguing weather or not Paul is old enough to stay home alone.
Vonnegut clearly portrays how the character of Paul jumped to the conclusion he
thought Mr. and Mrs. Harger were arguing. Vonnegut uses the character of Paul to
portray how society may have reacted in the same situation. 4.
Vonnegut uses an organized linear text set up. He begins the story with the Leonards deciding on leaving Paul alone while they go to a movie. From there, Vonnegut explains the sequential chain of events through the character of Paul. Vonnegut’s style creates a suspenseful atmosphere to lead up to the ending of which keeps the reader interested and wanting to know what is going to happen next. 5.
Next Door was a suspenseful story in that the ending was completely unexpected. Vonnegut leads the reader to believe that the neighbors arguing are a husband and wife. My predictions were completely wrong as I kept asking myself how and eight-year old could be left alone. I thought something bad was going to happen to Paul for...
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