The Thorn Birds Themes & Social Concerns

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The author's most popular book is her most purely entertaining, with few overtly moral messages, as it traces three generations of an Australian family from 1915 to 1969. It does, however, show the subjugation and lack of freedom for the women who are dependent on men and have few options without them. They register some prefeminist protests, but only the woman of the third generation breaks away for a life of her own, and it is not satisfactory either until she marries, which is the last event in the novel.

The central character, Meggie, carries a lifelong love for an ambitious priest, Ralph de Bricassart. It is briefly consummated, resulting in an illegitimate son (who later becomes a priest); she also has a daughter by a man she marries (unhappily) mainly because he resembles Ralph. The forces that keep Meggie and Ralph apart dominate the story, including the priest's...

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This section contains 218 words
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