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Class 12 Compulsory English Unit:1 Short Stories Neighbours Complete Question Answer Solution

 


When they first moved in, the young couple were wary of the neighbourhood. The street was full of European migrants. It made the newly-weds feel like sojourners in a foreign land. Next door on the left lived a Macedonian family. On the right, a widower from Poland.

The newly-weds' house was small, but its high ceilings and paned windows gave it the feel of an elegant cottage. From his study window, the young man could see out over the rooftops and used car yards the Moreton Bay figs in the park where they walked their dog. The neighbours seemed cautious about the dog, a docile, moulting collie.

The young man and woman had lived all their lives in the expansive outer suburbs where good neighbours were seldom seen and never heard. The sounds of spitting and washing and daybreak watering came as a shock. The Macedonian family shouted, ranted, screamed. It took six months for the newcomers to comprehend the fact that their neighbours were not murdering each other, merely talking.

The old Polish man spent most of his day hammering nails into wood only to pull them out again. His yard was stacked with salvaged Humber. He added to it, but he did not build with it. Relations were uncomfortable for many months. The Macedonians raised eyebrows at the late hour at which the newcomers rose in the mornings. The young man sensed their disapproval at his staying home to write his thesis while his wife worked. He watched in disgust as the little boy next door urinated in the street. He once saw him spraying the cat from the back step. The child's head was shaved regularly, he assumed, in order to make his hair grow thick. The little boy stood at the fence with only his cobalt eyes showing; it made the young man nervous.


In the autumn, the young couple cleared rubbish from their backyard and turned and manured the soil under the open and measured gaze of the neighbours. They planted leeks, onions, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broad beans and this caused the neighbours to come to the fence and offer advice about spacing, hilling, mulching. The young man resented the interference, but he took careful note of what was said. His wife was bold enough to run a hand over the child's stubble and the big woman with black eyes and butcher's arms gave her a bagful of garlic cloves to plant.

Not long after, the young man and woman built a henhouse. The neighbours watched it fall down. The Polish widower slid through the fence uninvited and rebuilt it for them. They could not understand a word he said.

As autumn merged into winter and the vermilion sunsets were followed by sudden, dark dusks touched with the smell of wood smoke and the sound of roosters crowing day's end, the young couple found themselves smiling back at the neighbours. They offered heads of cabbage and took gifts of grappa and firewood. The young man worked steadily at his thesis on the development of the twentieth century novel. He cooked dinners for his wife and listened to her stories of eccentric patients and hospital incompetence. In the street, they no longer walked with their eyes lowered. They felt superior and proud when their parents came to visit and to cast shocked glances across the fence.

In the winter they kept ducks, big, silent muscovies that stood about in the rain growing fat. In the spring the Macedonian family showed them how to slaughter and to pluck and to dress. They all sat around on blocks and upturned buckets and told barely understood stories the men butchering, the women plucking, as was demanded. In the haze of down and steam and fractured dialogue, the young man and woman felt intoxicated. The cat toyed with severed heads. The child pulled the cat's tail. The newcomers found themselves shouting.

But they had not planned on a pregnancy. It stunned them to be made parents so early. Their friends did not have children until several years after being married — if at all. The young woman arranged for maternity leave. The young man ploughed on with his thesis on the twentieth century novel.


The Polish widower began to build. In the late spring dawns, he sank post and poured cement and began to use his wood. The young couple turned in their bed, cursed him behind his back. The young husband, at times, suspected that the widower was deliberately antagonizing them. The young wife threw up in the mornings. Hay fever began to wear him down.

Before long the young couple realized that the whole neighbourhood knew of the pregnancy. People smiled tirelessly at them. The man in the deli gave her small presents of chocolates and him packets of cigarettes that he stored at home, not being a smoker. In the summer, Italian women began to offer names. Greek women stopped the young woman in the street, pulled her skirt up and felt her belly, telling her it was bound to be a boy. By late summer the woman next door had knitted the baby a suit, complete with booties and beanie. The young woman felt flattered, claustrophobic, grateful, peeved.

By late summer, the Polish widower next door had almost finished his two-car garage. The young man could not believe that a man without a car would do such a thing, and one evening as he was considering making a complaint about the noise, the Polish man came over with barrowful of wood scraps for their fire.

Labour came abruptly. The young man abandoned the twentieth century novel for the telephone. His wife began to black the stove. The midwife came and helped her finish the job while he ran about making statements that sounded like queries. His wife hoisted her belly about the house, supervising his movements. Going outside for more wood, he saw, in the last light of the day, the faces at each fence. He counted twelve faces. The Macedonian family waved and called out what sounded like their best wishes.

As the night deepened, the young woman dozed between contractions, sometimes walking, sometimes shouting. She had a hot bath and began to eat ice and demand liverwurst. Her belly rose, uterus flexing downward. Her sweat sparkled, the gossamer highlit by movement and firelight. The night grew older. The midwife crooned. The young man rubbed his wife's back, fed her ice and rubbed her lips with oil.

And then came the pushing. He caressed and stared and tried not to shout. The floor trembled as the young woman bore down in a squat. He felt the power of her, the sophistication of her. She strained. Her face mottled. She kept at it, push after push, assaulting some unseen barrier, until suddenly it was smashed and she was through. It took his wind away to see the look on the baby's face as it was suddenly passed up to the breast. It had one eye on him. It found the nipple. It trailed cord and vernix smears and its mother's own sweat. She gasped and covered the tiny buttocks with a hand. A boy, she said. For a second, the child lost the nipple and began to cry. The young man heard shouting outside. He went to the back door. On the Macedonian side of the fence, a small queue of bleary faces looked up, cheering, and the young man began to weep. The twentieth century novel had not prepared him for this.


 Glossary 

Macedonian (adj.): from Macedonia, south-eastern Europe Moreton

Bay (n.): a bay located on the eastern coast of Australia


Moulting (adj.): molting, hair growing.

Grappa (n.): a kind of alcoholic beverage, a fragrant grape-based Italian

Brandy eccentric (adj.): unconventional and strange

Muscovy (n.): a kind of large duck of South American origin claustrophobic (adj.): afraid of living in confined places liverwurst (n.): meat sausage also known as liver sausage croon (v.): hum or sing in a low soft voice

Vernix (n.): a greasy deposit covering the skin of a baby at birth

 

SUMMARY

                   The short story “Neighbours”, written by Tim Winton, deals with a young couple who have moved to a new suburb where a lot of European immigrants live. At first they only see the strange and sometimes disgusting customs of their new neighbourhood, so both the young couple and their neighbours have prejudices, but after a while they’re getting used to their new surrounding and the young couple starts liking their neighbours and notice that they aren’t that bad at all. They find out that they can be friends and that they can help each other in their everyday lives, so that everybody is satisfied with their neighbourhood and their life.

          In the story, the author doesn’t use names for the characters he describes. Thus, the characters are not defined and the result of that is that the characters can be regarded as role models for everyone. The young couple lived in expansive outer suburbs before they moved. First, they feel like sojourners and don’t talk to anyone. The so-called “young man” stays at home and writes his thesis of the development of the twentieth century novel. The “young woman” works in a hospital.

        After that, the whole neighbourhood starts to talk with them and they offer their help. So the young couple becomes proud of their neighbours. Although the couple has not planned on a pregnancy, the young woman is pregnant in spring and after a short while their neighbours become aware of it. Everybody offers their help and they are very polite. After the birth of their child all the neighbours are excited and wish their best. The birth is a wonder for the young man and at the end he realizes that “the twentieth century novel had not prepared him for this”.

       The story shows that immigrants can be seen as social enrichment to Australian society. Their great sense of community helps the couple to understand that intolerance, prejudice and discrimination are based on ignorance.


Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a.              Describe how the young couple’s house looked like.

Ans:

       The young couple's house was small, but its high ceilings and paned windows gave it the feel of an elegant cottage.

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

Ans:

      In the beginning of their arrival couple identify their neighbours was not satisfied by observing sounds of spitting and washing and daybreak watering which make irritated when couple arrived.  

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

Ans:

      The neighbours help the young couple in the kitchen garden by giving fence and offer advice about spacing, hilling, mulching.

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

Ans:

      The people in the neighborhood surprised at the role of the young man and his wife in their family because the young man stay and write his daily workout notes on his new neighborhood.

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

Ans:

      The neighbours respond to the woman's pregnancy by smiled tirelessly at the couple and some neighbours gave her small presents of chocolates and him packets of cigarettes that he stored at home, not being a smoker. Greek women stopped the young woman in the street, pulled her skirt up and felt her belly, telling her it was bound to be a boy

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

Ans:

     At the end of the story the young man begin to weep because his neighbor looking bleary face while his wife giving birth.

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

Ans:

      I think author did not characterize the person because in a multi-cultural community, one’s name is both important and unimportant. It is important because one’s name is usually a unique one though it might not be so in one’s own country. But it’s also not so important because one’s ethnic identity seems more important than his/her name. The author may want to put the story into a generic category referring to any such kind of happenings. Additionally, the author may want to demonstrate their ethnic identities are more important than their individualities. Last, the story is not very long, so Tim may not want his readers to go deep into the characters, but just display a living panorama of a certain mixed neighbourhood.


Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a.              Describe how the young couple’s house looked like.

Ans:

       The young couple's house was small, but its high ceilings and paned windows gave it the feel of an elegant cottage.

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

Ans:

      In the beginning of their arrival couple identify their neighbours was not satisfied by observing sounds of spitting and washing and daybreak watering which make irritated when couple arrived.  

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

Ans:

      The neighbours help the young couple in the kitchen garden by giving fence and offer advice about spacing, hilling, mulching.

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

Ans:

      The people in the neighborhood surprised at the role of the young man and his wife in their family because the young man stay and write his daily workout notes on his new neighborhood.

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

Ans:

      The neighbours respond to the woman's pregnancy by smiled tirelessly at the couple and some neighbours gave her small presents of chocolates and him packets of cigarettes that he stored at home, not being a smoker. Greek women stopped the young woman in the street, pulled her skirt up and felt her belly, telling her it was bound to be a boy

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

Ans:

     At the end of the story the young man begin to weep because his neighbor looking bleary face while his wife giving birth.

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

Ans:

      I think author did not characterize the person because in a multi-cultural community, one’s name is both important and unimportant. It is important because one’s name is usually a unique one though it might not be so in one’s own country. But it’s also not so important because one’s ethnic identity seems more important than his/her name. The author may want to put the story into a generic category referring to any such kind of happenings. Additionally, the author may want to demonstrate their ethnic identities are more important than their individualities. Last, the story is not very long, so Tim may not want his readers to go deep into the characters, but just display a living panorama of a certain mixed neighbourhood.

 

 Reference to the context

a.              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.

Ans:

     The stories show that linguistic and cultural and cultural barriers do not create any obstacle in human relationship. There are many examples from the story where the neighbours have transcended such barriers.

                           i.      Neighbours to come to the fence and offer advice about spacing, hilling, mulching.

                         ii.      They offered heads of cabbage and took gifts of grappa and firewood.

                       iii.            The Polish widower slid through the fence uninvited and rebuilt it for them but they could not understand each word.

                       iv.            some neighbours gave her small presents of chocolates and also giving advice to stopped the young woman in the street, pulled her skirt up and felt her belly, telling her it was bound to be a boy.

 

b.             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?

Ans:

   The last sentence of the story reads" The twentieth century novel had not prepared him for this. In my view, the significant contrasts the youngster found between the 20th century books and human relations are that, not normal for characters in books, people need to manage and defeat an assortment of eccentric and surprising circumstances for the duration of their lives. Everything doesn't go also, in actuality, as it does in the book. To beat these circumstances, one should set himself up in manners that novel can't educate.

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

Ans:

     "Neighbors are companions for wedding process as well as for funeral procession" in my views I see same on the story like helping each other.

 

     Neighbour help the young couple when they came in community they share their culture, language. When young couple growing garden neighbours to come to the fence and offer advice about spacing, hilling, mulching, hey offered heads of cabbage and took gifts of grappa and firewood. They offered heads of cabbage and took gifts of grappa and firewood, they invited each other in dinner are shown in story. But in my views Neighbour is not only for weeding process as well as for funeral procession but also in each and every activity.

 

d.             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?

Ans:

      Multiculturalism" is the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviours, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles. The author has deal with an issue of multiculturalism in the story.

   I think multiculturalism has become a significant issue in the current world on the grounds that alongside making individuals of various ethnic and social foundations together, it welcomes different social issues like inability to acclimatize, ethnic isolation, and variation issues, for example, school dropout, joblessness, and horror rates and so on

 

 Reference beyond the text

a.              Write an essay on Celebration of Childbirth in my Community.

Ans:

      Childbirth celebration is the ceremony or ritual to celebrate the birth of a child with joy and happiness which share in family and community. Various communities have various rituals and traditions to celebrate childbirth. In each ceremony or ritual community play important role However, in my community, people use to gather at the home of the childbirth and congratulate their parents and family members. They also celebrate this auspicious occasion by singing, dancing and eating delicious foods. Every year, the birth of a child is celebrated with joy and giving blessing from elder member or community. To make the birth of a child a memorable and happy occasion, they would cook different food delicacies and offer them to the elders who are considered as the custodian of our tradition. They also arrange small gifts and give them to the baby's mother and families. Mothers are treated with a lot of respect and love during their childbirth. They are given the best care during this period. When a mother is ready to give birth to the child.

b.             Do the people in your community respond with similar reactions upon the pregnancy and childbirth as depicted in the story? Give a couple of examples.

Ans:

     Yes, in our community people respond with similar reaction upon the pregnancy and childbirth as depicted in the story. Many of community people come and giving congratulations to couple but mainly to male in our community. They give emotion motivated to couple for future on new member and they will bring delicious food like chocolate, fruit, etc especially to female for their health.

 People also bring delicious food like, chocolate, fruit and special gift in childbirth like different kind of toys. People congratulate to family member. Mothers are treated with a lot of respect and love during their childbirth. They are given the best care during this period. When a mother is ready to give birth to the child.


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