Beauty and alienation are underlying themes that can be found beneath the surface of John Galsworthy's short story, "The Japanese Quince." The story is seemingly a simple one: One spring morning as he peers out his window, Mr. Nilson notices an unusual "sensation" in his throat. He decides to investigate the wonderful smell coming from the nearby gardens. While there, he finds that a neighbor, Mr. Tandram, is also admiring the tree from which the smell emanates. Though they are next-door neighbors, they have never met; and though they seemingly are quite similar in appearance and in their love of what they learn is a Japanese quince, they feel uneasy being together. After a brief conversation, they both return to their homes separately. As he begins to read his newspaper inside his home, Nilson is "unaccountably upset."