Neighbors Questions and Answers
by Thomas Berger

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Who is the speaker of Raymond Carver's "Neighbors" and whose point of view is the story told from?

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Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The perspective in Raymond Carver's story "Neighbors" is third person limited. This means that the narrator of the story is not privy to any of the thoughts or internal emotions of the characters; they simply report what they are observing. They do not take part in any of the action, like a first-person observer would, and they are not omniscient of the characters's thoughts and feelings, like a third-person omniscient observer would be.

Because of this, the story is told from the perspective of someone on the outside looking in and simply observing the events unfolding before them, so that the reader can feel almost as if they are peering through a window into the lives of the characters and observing from without.

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Carver uses an objective point of view in his story, "Neighbors."  This point of view is known as a "Fly on the wall" point of view.  You can think of it as a "Camera on the wall" point of view.  Description is kept to an absolute minimum and the author/narrator does not interpret orintrude.  What the reader sees is what happens, period.  The story is written in third-person limited, limited to the view of the husband.  We see what he does when he is in the neighbor's home, for instance, but not what his wife does.  Carver is famous for this minimalist method of narration.

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