Crime is a common occurrence is the poverty afflicted areas around the world. Because crime is such a problem in some places, many writers decide to write about this specific topic. Adam Johnson (Not to be mistaken for Adam Johnson the Sunderland football player) is an award winning short story writer, who in 2004 wrote a story called “A Friendly Neighbour”. The story is about a neighborly dispute, between Roger (The protagonist) and Walker (The neighbor). The story makes a twist and turns out for the worse “So, entering through a window I had forced earlier that afternoon, I gathered up all the household chemicals, and, believe me, he had a lot, more than I did”(p.4 l. 1-3)
The relationship between the two main characters is tense, but one day Walker trespasses into Roger’s kitchen. This ...view middle of the document...
“His teen-age boy huddled over the littlest one” (p.4 l. 15) Walker has some kind of mental disease and has accepted it “I am what I am, he said.” Walker is violent, just as Roger, his violence is just aimed at his own family. “Many a night I’ve heard assorted wonks and baps from Walker’s house, with her gasping, Frank, Jesus, I Am a Woman, You’re Hurting Me, the Kids Are Watching, and so on.”(p.1 l. 26)
This story takes place in a poor area in the USA, maybe somewhere in Dakota which is one of the poorest states in America. Roger didn’t think that the police would be able to help him out with Walker, perhaps because the police doesn’t come in the poor parts of the city. “And, as far as cops, my feeling was: What am I supposed to do, wait until he’s back in my house?”(p.2 l.35)
The story is written in 2004. We don’t get much information, about the environment or how advanced the technology is, so we can only assume the time of this story is around 2004’ish.
The point of view is from Roger, which means we have a first-person narrator, everything we see is like we see it from Rogers eyes. We have multiple visions inside Roger’s head, to hear his thoughts “I never could stomach Walker and then one day he’s standing in my kitchen, in his underwear.”(p.1 l.1)
To conclude, Roger killed his neighbor’s family, burned the house. All this simply because he felt threatened by his violent mentally unstable neighbor who was obviously beating his wife. Roger took action, because the police did not. Perhaps Adam Johnson wrote this story as an eye-opener to world, if the police and politicians took more action in the poor parts of the world, crime rates would perhaps drop. Walker perhaps could have been sent to a mental institution where he could have gotten some help.