Finding their Place in Society: The Characters of Cloudstreet 12th Grade

It doesn’t take very long for your life to change forever. The characters of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet are a testament to this, most significantly, Oriel and Quick Lamb, two individuals who had found their place in society. Oriel was the wife of an ANZAC, a farm person, and a “Godfearing” woman. Quick was admittedly the inferior to his brother in looks, intelligence, and likability, a fact that he accepted contently. Following the event of Fish’s revival and subsequent disability, and the move from farm-life to the city, both Oriel and Quick are geographically and emotionally displaced. Oriel struggles to fulfill her role as a mother to a child that doesn’t recognize her, and to feel at home in a house that does not accept her. Quick experiences difficulty in overcoming his survivor’s guilt and in finding a location that provides the same sense of comfort that the farm once did. Quick and Oriel begin their personal journeys to understand the ever-changing world around them and their place within it, an enduring need that plagues them over the twenty-year course of the saga. It is to a great extent that Winton explores this.

Oriel Lamb’s need to find her place in society begins in her youth. After a fire decimated her family and...

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