Summary of Neighbours by Tim Winton | Questions and Answers NEB Compulsory English Class 12

Summary of Neighbours by Tim Winton | Questions and Answers NEB Compulsory English Class 12
Neb English Support Class 12

Summary of Neighbours by Tim Winton | Questions and Answers NEB Compulsory English Class 12

Neighbours by Tim Winton

Table of Contents


Neighbours by Tim Winton

Name: Tim Winton

Full Name: Timothy John Winton

Date of Birth: 4 August 1960

Nationality: Australian

Birth Place: Subiaco, Western Australia 

Occupation: Novelist

Notable Works: Cloudstreet, Dirt Music, Breath, Shallows, Blueback

Notable Award: Miles Franklin Award


Neighbours by Tim Winton

'Neighbours" by Tim Winton is a very short story of false judgement. This story has shown the concept that human relationships go beyond linguistic and cultural barriers. The story is about a newly married young couple who have recently moved into a new neighbourhood. At first, they notice that their new surroundings are full of European migrants. Their house is small and beautiful. They feel quite disgusted at first because of their neighbours and their activities. They get irritated listening to the loud conversations of their next-door neighbours, a Macedonian family, and the hammering of their other next-door neighbour, a Polish widower.

They try to keep their distance from them. They don't feel happy at first to find the strange and sometimes disgusting customs of their new neighbours. The neighbours also don't like their dog, as well as the young man's act of sitting at home and his wife working outside.

As time passes, the young couple gets help from their neighbours in the matter of the kitchen garden and henhouse. They are getting used to their new surroundings. The young couple starts smiling and liking their neighbours. They notice that their neighbours aren't that bad at all. They start passing time with their neighbours, sharing and learning things. They feel proud to be a part of the neighbourhood.

When the young woman becomes pregnant, the neighbours immediately find out about it and start smiling at the young couple, providing them with help, gifts, and good tips. They care for the new couple very much. The neighbours become a part of the young couple's celebration. The young couple isn't used to that friendliness. The young man is surprised when all his neighbours celebrate birth arrival of the new baby boy. The young man weeps, at last, to find his neighbours cheering for his baby's birth. His opinion about migrants turns out to be wrong.


The story presents the concept that different people from different countries' backgrounds can live peacefully together, although they have different languages, cultures, and lifestyles. The human relationship is quite important, beyond other aspects.




Neighbours by Tim Winton

▪︎  It's a story of false judgement.

▪︎  Written by Australian writer Tim Winton.

▪︎  Extracted from the book entitled "Migrants of Australia."

▪︎  Edited by Harwood Lawler.

▪︎  Story about a newly married couple.

▪︎  The theme arises from the concept that cultural and linguistic barriers cannot stop people from bestowing love and compassion.

▪︎  The main characters migrate to a new neighbourhood that is packed with European migrants.

▪︎  Their house was small and beautiful, which provided them with the feeling of an elegant cottage.

▪︎  Main character A young man worked on his thesis on the development of the twentieth-century novel.

▪︎  He engaged himself in household tasks, and his wife used to work at the hospital.

▪︎  For them, the neighbours' languages, cultures, and activities were quite unfamiliar and disgusting.

▪︎  They felt quite irritated to find their neighbours' activities.

▪︎  Mostly irritated to hear loud conversations of their next-door neighbour on the left, which was a Macedonian family.

▪︎  Feeling disturbed the whole day by a Polish widower, an old man neighbour on their right, who used to hammer the nails in the woods uselessly.

▪︎  These two families are the main reason for their irritation.

▪︎  They got the idea after six months that the Macedonian family members' loud-talking manner was normal.

▪︎  Neighbours were shocked to see the young man sitting at home while his wife worked in the hospital.

▪︎  The young couple was advised by their neighbours in the kitchen garden. They got garlic cloves.

▪︎   A Polish widower helped to rebuild the house without an invitation.

▪︎  The young couple started smiling with their neighbours by the winter.

▪︎  The young couple had a sense of pride in living in the neighbourhood. (Development in relation)

▪︎  Unexpectedly, the young woman became pregnant quite early. But neighbours knew about it.

▪︎  Man in the deli (shop) provided her with small presents of chocolates and packets of cigarettes in goodwill.

▪︎   A Polish man provided them with wood scraps for their fire.

▪︎  In the summer, an Italian woman offered names for the upcoming child.

▪︎   A Greek woman assured her that the young woman would get a baby boy after touching her belly.

▪︎  By late summer, the woman next door had knitted the baby a suit.

▪︎  When the baby cried for the first time after losing a nipple, the young man heard shouting outside.

▪︎  The young man began to weep after seeing his neighbours' support.

▪︎  The twentieth-century novel had not prepared him for this. Eventually, his concept regarding his neighbours changed.


Neighbours by Tim Winton


👉 This short story "Neighbours" has been written by Tim Winton, a writer from Australia. This story is about a false judgement. This story was first published in the year 1985. The main theme of this story is the concept of humanity. Human relationships are far beyond cultural and linguistic barriers. 


Discuss the following questions:

[2079 NEB BOARD ASKED QUESTION]: What does 'fractured dialogue' mean in the story? (Neighbours)


This is the story of a false judgement. This story has presented the concept of humanity. This story has shown the concept that human relationships go beyond linguistic and cultural barriers. The "fractured dialogue" in the story means the broken and colloquial language that the neighbours of the new couple speak most of the time. During winter, the new couple hears their variety of stories and seems so intoxicated in their fractured dialogues that they even involve themselves in shouting along with them.

a. How many languages are spoken in your community? Do people in your community understand each other’s mother tongue? 


There are various languages spoken in my community. Yes, people in my community understand each other's mother tongue. The people in my community are habitual speakers of each other's mother tongue because of their long-term relationship.

b. How do the neighbours help each other in your neighbourhood?


Neighbours in my community help each other through various means. The neighbours in my community are very helpful and cooperative. They are humanitarians. During times of crisis, they try their best to help each other be united. They always live in peace and harmony with love and cooperation.


Answer the following questions.

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


The young couple had a very fine house. The young couple's house was small and beautiful. The house had high ceilings with paned windows. The house provided them with the feeling of an elegant cottage. Their study room's window allowed them to see the wonderful sight outside. They could easily view fine rooftops and the park through it.

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


At the beginning of their arrival, the young couple identified their neighbours through their bad experiences with them. They had a very negative attitude towards them due to their languages, cultures, behaviours, and activities. They felt quite bad and irritated to find a loud Macedonian family on their left next door who used to make noise through their loud conversations all the time. Similarly, an old Polish widower on their right used to create disturbance through his useless activities of hammering and nailing. They identified these two neighbours as the main source of their irritation.

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


The neighbours helped the young couple in the kitchen garden by providing them with advice related to gardening. They got this chance to converse with the young couple after many months when they saw the young couple planting vegetables in their kitchen garden. They helped them by advising them on various things related to gardening, such as spacing, hilling, and mulching.

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


The people in the neighbourhood were surprised at the role of the young man and his wife in their family because they found the young man staying at home and doing household tasks, whereas his wife was doing a job in the hospital outside. The people of the neighbourhood disapproved of the concept of males sitting in the house and females working outdoors.

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


The neighbours responded in a very fine and polite manner to the woman's pregnancy. They started smiling at the young couple most of the time and caring for the young woman a lot. They tried their best to support her in various ways. All her neighbours responded by being quite responsible. They provided her with various gifts, pieces of advice, and care related to her pregnancy.

f. Why did the young man begin to weep at the end of the story? [2079 NEB BOARD ASKED QUESTION]


The young man began to weep at the end of the story because he realised his neighbours' care, love and support. When he found all of them on his fence cheering for his newborn baby boy, he failed to control his emotions. He wept in joy to find his neighbours' happiness in his good time. His concept regarding his neighbours changed. He realised the concept of human relations.

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


I think the author did not characterise the persons in the story with proper names because he wanted to show the people of mixed groups in one place with varieties of languages and cultures with the feeling of humanity. He wanted to give more importance to ethnic identities than individualities. With the help of this story, he wanted to present the fine concept that different people from different countries and backgrounds can live peacefully together, although they have different languages, cultures, and lifestyles. The human relationship is quite an important aspect, beyond other aspects.


a. The story shows that linguistic and cultural barriers do not create any obstacle in human relationships. Cite some examples from the story where the neighbours have transcended such barriers. 


Here in this story, we find many instances where the neighbours have transcended linguistic and cultural barriers. These barriers have been broken due to human relationships. Some examples are as follows:

1. The neighbours offer them advice related to the kitchen garden, though they don't know their language.

2. The help of an old Polish man to rebuild their henhouse can be taken as unselfish help in human relationships.

3. The young couple learns things from the Macedonian family and the way they shout, even though they don't even know their language.

4. Their care, love, and respect for the young pregnant woman, as well as their happiness for the baby's birth, show a fine example of a human relationship. The human relationship goes beyond linguistic and cultural aspects.


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?


The young man found unexpected differences between twentieth-century novels and human relations. As a writer, he kept on writing his thesis on a twentieth-century novel using his opinions or thoughts regarding European migrants. He had his own perspective on the lifestyle of migrant people. His arrival in a new neighbourhood and his experience made him feel bad about all the migrants in his neighbourhood. His concept of a twentieth-century novel turns out to be wrong at last. He had never expected such acts of togetherness from his neighbours before. The activities of migrants made him weep and realise the important concept of humanity at last. He realised the importance of human relationships. Human relations are far more practical than written things in novels. Many events occurred in the young man's life that were quite unexpected for him. He became a father; his neighbours showed their care for his family; they showed extreme happiness in his joy; he cried to find such awesome neighbours, etc. All these things were possible due to their good relationship with their neighbours. The twentieth-century novel hadn't prepared him for this. The human relationship made him realise the value of living with neighbours in a neighbourhood.

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


Neighbours are the real companions of life who keep on passing their lives with us in various situations. Neighbours are needed in every step of life, no matter joy or sorrow. They are the companions for a wedding procession as well as a funeral procession.

Yes, this proverb applies to the story. Here in this story, we find the neighbours' involvement in various events. The story has mainly focused on three close neighbours who are seen living their lives, sharing and caring for each other. We find the concept of sharing, caring, and helping among the neighbours in the story. The young couple's family was advised and helped by their two next-door neighbours. The young couple is also seen sharing things in their neighbourhood. During the time of pregnancy, the young woman was cared for, assured, and presented gifts by the people of her neighbourhood. These neighbours are seen passing time teaching each other, enjoying themselves, laughing, and shouting. Living in a neighbourhood, the sense of pride within the young couple is vident. The sharing of joy is seen at last when all the neighbours cheer to hear the baby's first cry. The young man also weeps to find his neighbours cheering for his baby. Thus, the neighbours in the story are seen as the best companions, as mentioned in the proverb.



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?


Multiculturalism refers to characteristics of a society, city, etc. that have many different ethnic or national cultures mingling freely.

Here, the writer has dealt with the issue of multiculturalism in the story. I think multiculturalism has become a major issue in the present world because, in multiculturalism, discrimination of cultures between people of different ethnic groups is mainly seen. People don't try to be very interested in each other's cultures and traditions. Cultural discrimination creates a kind of gap between people. The concept of multiculturalism brings about upheaval in the community. The way of life of people, their different languages, and many other factors make people distant from each other. Concepts like humanity and human relations are merely dead due to the concept of multiculturalism. In the present world, due to this concept of multiculturalism, the people in the world are facing disastrous results through violence, war, and various negative aspects. People are badly affected as well as discriminated against in every sector due to this concept of multiculturalism. This concept has brought many bad results in the history of this world. Due to this concept, the world will certainly face disastrous results in the upcoming future.


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


Celebration of Childbirth in My Community

Childbirth is an important occasion. This occasion is well-celebrated in most parts of the world.

In the context of my community, childbirth is a kind of ritual. Childbirth is splendidly celebrated by whole family members as well as relatives. The news of childbirth makes all family members and relatives happy. The family members and relatives cheer for the newly born baby. They get highly excited to cheer and welcome the mother and newly born baby. The entry of a new member into the family provides family members with a new relationship. Family members and relatives form a new relationship with the child. Both mother and infant are provided with much more care. They are provided with blessings and gifts. The naming ceremony of the newly born baby is well celebrated. On this occasion, all the relatives of the family are invited to celebrate. Relatives enjoy this occasion a lot. They get a chance to bless the child and mother. Both the mother and the infant get gifts. There is feasting and dancing till nighttime. All of the family members and relatives cheer in the name of the child. There is happiness among members and relatives all around.

The mother of the child is given much more respect after giving birth to a child. Both mother and child are the centres of attraction for all. The love, care, and togetherness of all make the mother feel so happy and secure.

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.


Yes, the people in my community respond with similar reactions to pregnancy and childbirth as depicted in the story. In our Eastern traditional societies, both pregnancy and childbirth are well celebrated. It is a kind of ritual where all the relatives, as well as neighbours, participate to celebrate this occasion. During pregnancy or childbirth, the woman is given much more preference. She is given proper care and love.


In our societies, a pregnant woman is blessed by all her relatives. She is given a lot of advice regarding her health. She gets lots of care from her family members. She gets blessings and various gifts. She is properly cared for, loved, and respected. Her pregnancy is also well-celebrated.

In the matter of childbirth, all the family members and neighbours are keenly waiting for the good news of the baby's birth. At the first cry of the baby, the family members are congratulated by their relatives and neighbours. All of them cheer for the newlyborn baby. The birth of a child is so well celebrated. The mother of the baby is warmly welcomed by all family members and relatives.








Try your best to prepare a fine note of English. Go through the format of understanding or learning by heart. I believe that these answers will definitely help you secure fine marks in the Neb Board 2-mark. As we know, we have to write 75 words answer for a short question and 150 words for a long 5-mark question. So, please try to add the basic information regarding the chapter first while writing each answer. Learn basic ideas about the chapter and write them down before answering your question. Later, try your own understanding of the answer. I have provided the basic idea of the chapter above just before the questions and answers. Best of luck for your Board Examination.

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  1. Thanks 👍 uh are doing well sir ☺️

  2. sir have you any idea about teaching and learning process of language development section of the text book. Is it necessary to teach all the twenty units line by line ? please kindly help me by providing your view.

    1. Dear...every Chapter of language development is for language skill development. If you move on thoroughly, you won't finish your course. Try to summarise the chapters with MAIN points only...ask the students to solve questions..provide them your authentic answers at last. Grammar portion is must and should be taught with rules.
      Thus, quick idea about passage, questions and Answers, grammar and free writing related to chapters

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