Essay on Critical Analysis of Raymond Carver's "Neighbors"

748 Words Apr 30th, 2008 3 Pages
All We Really Need in Life is Each Other
Raymond Carver’s “Neighbors” is a moral based story. In the beginning of their marriage Bill and Arlene were very content with one another’s companionship, but now they live in envy of their neighbors, Harriet and Jim. It seemed to the Millers that the Stones live a much more fulfilling life. When Harriet and Jim are away on business/vacation trip they would entrust Bill and Arlene to feed Kitty, water the plants, and look after their apartment. The Miller’s behavior in the apartment becomes very odd and inappropriate when they almost try to live the Stone’s lives throw their possessions. The most important concept about this story is that people are bored with what they have and desperately want
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Arlene, much like her husband, had a venturous time in the Stones home as well. “Maybe it was all about the excitement of trying on a new and more interesting identity.”(73) This is the second example as to why the setting influences the characters. Bill was usually the one to go over and take care of the everyday list of things to do the Stone’s left, but Arlene goes over one time to do it. The second she returns she tells Bill, “I guess I should tell you. I found some pictures.”(73) The comfort of being locked behind that closed door with no chance of being found caused Arlene to submit into the temptation of experiencing the Stone’s life. I don’t think if the Stone’s were present in their apartment that Arlene would be opening drawers and looking for personal pictures or belongings.
If Carver had not written this piece of fiction this way it would have taken away from the not knowing what was going on in the characters minds. The attempt at trying to figure out the Miller’s thought process plays into the irony of the story, “The grass is greener on the other side”. Everyone has some time or another where they want to be something their not or desperately want something they don’t posses. The Millers pushed the envelope on attempting to experience the things they

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