Title : The Ungrateful Neighbor
Author : Margery Green
Publisher : Macmillan & Co. LTD
Year : 1969
Theme is main message in a story or novel. In this novel, I find a moral message which is very meaningful. It is about sincerity. How a sincerity of a person can lead him to the fortune. In this case, Abu Sir is the person who has a big sincerity of what Abu Kir has done to him. He never cares about the bad treat that he gets from Abu Kir. However, Abu Sir always helps Abu Kir whatever his condition is.
This novel has two main characters which always occur in every single time. There are Abu Sir and Abu Kir. Abu Sir is a barber. Everybody likes him because his honesty and his kindness. He loves his family and friends whatever his condition is. Abu Kir is a dyer. He dishonest to everybody he meets, in purpose he will gain more money and become rich. He is hated by people in Alexandria, because he lies to his costumers. He is also very greedy. He takes all of people’s money without thinking of what people think about him.
Summary of the Story
There are two men living in Alexander. They are neighbor. The one is a dyer, Abu Kir, and the other man is a barber, Abu Sir. Abu Kir is very greedy; he does tricks to all of his costumers. Everyman who comes to his store to dye their clothes will never get their clothes back. Abu Kir will say that the clothes have been stolen, but actually the clothes are sold by Abu Kir to earn more money so he can buy drinks. His neighbor, Abu Sir, is a good barber. He is honest to all his costumers.
One day, Abu Kir gets bankruptcy. All of his costumers don’t trust him anymore and all of his money has been spent on drinks. So he is poor. Abu Sir tells Abu Kir to live together with him and his family. But it takes too long, so Abu Sir also gets lack of money. He decides to go overseas to find a better job. Abu Kir joins Abu Sir.
In a big ship, Abu Sir decides to find new costumers so they can eat, but Abu Kir says he cannot go because he feels sea-sick so he has to have a rest for a long time. Abu Sir makes friend with all people on the board, and also the captain of the ship. But still, Abu Kir pretends that he gets the sea-sick so he cannot go out of his room.
After they arrive in a new place, Abu Sir finds a place for both of them to live. But Abu Kir still pretends that he cannot do anything because of his sea-sick so he has to stay in the room. Abu Sir still cares to his friend. He works and buys food for both of them. One day, Abu Sir falls sick. He cannot work because he is too tired. The unkind Abu Kir leaves Abu Sir alone and takes all of his money. Abu Kir goes out and looks for the place to have a job.
This is the first time of Abu Kir to walk around the town. Abu Kir gets shock because all of the dryer stores in this town only provide black and dark blue dye. Abu Kir goes to the palace to tell the king that he can make another dye color except black and dark blue. The king gets impressed to him and gives him a store to dye.
Abu Sir is looked after by his neighbor until he is back to health. He finds that Abu Kir now is a rich man who has a big store of dye. He tries to tell Abu Kir that he is now healthy, but what he get is a bad treat from Abu Kir. Abu Kir hits him and yells to him so everybody in his store could hear that he is the thief of Abu Kir’s money.
Feeling shock, Abu Sir tries to be relax and to find a Hammam, a place where people can get a relaxing massage and bath. But he cannot find it. So he goes to the palace to tell the king that he can build a Hammam for the citizens. The king gives him a store and gets shock because of the treatment in Abu Sir’s Hammam. Everybody goes to the Hammam to get a massage. And also Abu Kir, he gets a very special treatment from Abu Sir.
Abu Kir feels jealous of Abu Sir, so he makes a rumor of Abu Sir. He says to the King that Abu Sir will kill the ministers who get the treatment in Abu Sir’s Hammam. The king is angry and banishes him. Abu Sir leaves his store and go to the coast side to be a fisherman.
One day, the king loses his magic ring. He doesn’t tell anybody, because if people know that he loses his magic ring, people will think that their king is no longer powerful. Abu Sir goes to the sea to find some fish to eat. One of his fish he get swallows the king’s magic ring. Abu Sir suddenly goes to the palace to give the ring to the King. The king gets shock and realizes that Abu Sir is a honest person. He also realizes that Abu Kir is a liar that gets jealous with Abu Sir. Because of that, the King executes Abu Kir.
Setting and Atmosphere
There are so many settings in this novel, both of places and time. The first main setting of place is in the town of Alexander, where both Abu Sir and Abu Kir work as a barber and dyer. The second one is on the ship which brings them to new country. This place also gives them new story, such as when Abu Sir has to work to gain more money and food from people on the ship. The third setting of place is in a new city where both of Abu Sir and Abu Kir find new job. Those three settings of place have both day and night setting.
The most dominant emotion which occurs in this story is happiness and crankiness. The happiness may be found when the Abu Sir feels happy. It’s like he is sharing it to the readers. And the crankiness may be found from what Abu Kir has done to people around him. It will make the reader feel cranky of him.
I don’t think there are any symbols in this novel, because there are no special occasions or things that drive the reader to think about any symbolism.