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Neighbors by Raymond Carver

            In Raymond Carver's "Neighbors", Bill and Arlene desire the life that their next door neighbors Jim and Harriet Stone live. Soon enough, their desire for the Stones' comfortable life makes them unhappy with their own. Throughout the short story, Bill and Arlene attempt to eliminate their shared jealousy of their neighbors. Envy becomes a part of Bill and Arlene's life, so they try to mend their envy and jealousy by using the Stones' life. They use and take things in their apartment to live a more happy life by being invasive toward the Stones' things, trying to "ruin" the Stones' life, and by having a better sex life.
             Bill and Arlene are very invasive toward the Stones' belongings. For example, when Bill is given the chance to feed and take care of the Stones' cat, he spends most of his time in their apartment rummaging through the Stones' belongings. Bill gets more personal when he is looking through the Stones' belongings, "He steps into the panties and fastens the brassiere, then looks through the closet for an outfit. He puts on a black and white checkered skirt and tries to zip it up" (509). This situation can be interpreted in many different ways. One being that Bill is exploring himself in new ways that him or nobody knows of. The reader can't tell if this situation is serious or not. After this, Bill looks through the apartment some more. When Bill "looks at himself in the mirror and then closes his eyes and then looks again. He opens the medicine chest. He finds a container and reads 'Harriet Stone'. One day as directed, and he slips it into his pocket" (507). Bill is so deep in exploration of the apartment it seems he thinks he is Harriet Stone. When Bill looks at himself in the mirror, he shuts his eye and looks again, he hopes he sees something else. Not only is Bill scrimmaging through the Stones' belongings, but he is taking the Stones' belonging as they are his own.

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