The Thorn Birds Setting & Symbolism

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Drogheda

Mary Carson lures the Cleary clan to work Drogheda, her 250,000-acre sheep ranch in New South Wales, by promising to leave the ranch to her brother, Paddy Cleary, in her will. This is a promise that Mary ultimately breaks.

Wahine, New Zealand

At the beginning of the novel, the Cleary's own a small, struggling sheep ranch in Wahine, New Zealand, a land of emerald green rolling hills reminiscent of the emerald in Fiona's engagement ring, and Paddy's native Ireland.

New South Wales

After the beautiful green hills of New Zealand, the Clearys are shocked by the sere, grey-brown dust, heat and flies of New South Wales. The temperature can easily reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

Gillanbone

The nearest town to Drogheda, Gillanbone is the site of the annual Picnic Races, where Frank Cleary decides to leave his family. It is also the home of Holy Cross...

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This section contains 481 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Thorn Birds Study Guide
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