The Thorn Birds Questions and Answers

The Thorn Birds

The ironic and tragic events that make up the ending of The Thorn Birds illuminate the meaning of the title of the book as well as the significance of the legend of the thorn bird described at the...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2018, 2:18 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds is a complex and deeply emotional novel. Several themes can be identified, but one theme stands out from the rest: the pursuit of something you want, with the knowledge that you...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2019, 9:29 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Thorn Birds

The answer to this question largely depends upon one's perspective. Although it can be said that both ambitious men take undue advantage of Meggie, Father Ralph De Bricassart at least claims to...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2016, 7:34 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Mary Carson in The Thorn Birds is Paddy's sister who offers Paddy a job at Drogheda. She is an imperious, controlling widow who convinced her late husband, Michael Carson, to marry her because she...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2017, 7:12 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

I would argue that Fiona (Fee) Cleary is most like Baba in The Kite Runner and Nana in A Thousand Splendid Suns. At a glance, Baba seems to be a strange choice, but he and Fee share a few...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2017, 9:12 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds is a historical fiction and romance novel written by Australian author Colleen McCullough, originally published in 1977. The novel tells the tragic and impossible love story of the...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2020, 6:48 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Readers who have read all three novels will all have differing views on the messages within them. In answering the question "Who is Meggie Cleary in The Thorn Birds most like in The Kite Runner?"...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2016, 5:56 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Justine O'Neill in The Thorn Birds is a strong, intelligent girl who emerges from a difficult home life to achieve her ambition of being an actress. Despite her dedication to this career, she does...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2020, 5:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Father Ralph de Bricassart is a good but mixed character in The Thorn Birds. McCullough writes of Father Ralph, "His patience and kindness had brought him liking from all and sincere love from...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2017, 1:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Interesting question! Definitely, the answer to your question will be based on your own analysis and judgement about the two characters. Nevertheless, I'd like to put forth the hypothesis that, of...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2016, 5:51 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The protagonist is Meggie Cleary. Even though there are a lot of characters and the story spans several generations, Meggie is the most central character and her plot (her impossible love for...

Latest answer posted February 29, 2016, 9:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

In The Thorn Birds, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Vittorio di Contini Verchese is a wise, tolerant and kindly father-figure to Ralph de Bricassart. Archbishop Vittorio is a relatively minor...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2020, 12:32 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Archbishop (later Cardinal) Vittorio di Contini-Verchese is a minor character in The Thorn Birds whose main role is to act as a mentor and father figure to some of the younger characters, Ralph de...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2020, 8:32 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

By all indications, Dane O'Neill is most similar to Mariam in A Thousand Splendid Suns and Hassan in The Kite Runner. While it's true Dane and Hassan are more sanguine in temperament and Mariam is...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016, 9:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Both of these characters are women whose rebellious nature make their lives and relationships difficult. They both engage in behaviors that are seen as socially unacceptable and damage their...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2018, 1:29 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

That's an interesting set of comparisons to make since, at least prima facie, there are no obvious resemblances between The Thorn Birds and Hosseini's novels. One way to attempt to answer this is...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2016, 8:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

While neither of these men have much to recommend them, I would argue Rasheed is the more villainous of the two. Although Luke O'Neill takes undue advantage of his wife, Meggie, he never strikes...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2016, 7:08 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The character of Justine O’Neill in The Thorn Birds is the daughter of Luke O’Neill and his wife Meggie (formerly Cleary). While her mother and grandmother, Fiona Cleary, are both strong women,...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2020, 6:54 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

This book is a saga, a long-winded story tracing an Irish family's three-generation history throughout a multitude of plots or subplots. One theme concerns the difficulty in reconciling one's...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2008, 3:17 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Luke O'Neill in The Thorn Birds is more like Rasheed in A Thousand Splendid Suns. Luke is a heartless man who romances Meggie and gets her to marry him. Once married to Meggie, he is heartless and...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2016, 12:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Mary Carson, Luke O'Neill, and Fiona Cleary are three of the most negative characters in The Thorn Birds. Mary Carson, in particular, is malignant and manipulative and uses her immense wealth to...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2020, 10:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Colleen McCullough's Thorn Birds highlights the story of the Cleary family over the course of 54 years, emphasizing the life of Meghann "Meggie" Cleary who lives at Drogheda, a sheep station in the...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2016, 3:07 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The marriages in Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds are all complex. The terms "good" and "bad" to label a marriage are subjective and will depend on your own interpretation, but I will provide...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2020, 4:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

We will do a character review of all three and determine who General Taheri resembles most. General Taheri: A very proud and, at times, arrogant Afghan male. He believes in upholding Afghan...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2019, 10:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

There are several similarities and differences between Fiona in The Thorn Birds and Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns. At first glance, Fiona is a woman who lives an ordinary and uneventful life....

Latest answer posted January 2, 2021, 6:28 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The characters of Mary Carson, Fiona Cleary and Luke O’Neil in The Thorn Birds have some similarities to Aseef in The Kite Runner and Rasheed in A Thousand Splendid Suns. They all exhibit a certain...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2020, 3:53 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

If you want to see evil manifested in The Thorn Birds, look no further than the odious character of Luke O'Neill. Right from the start of his marriage to Meggie, this rough-hewn ranch-hand subjects...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2020, 1:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

In The Thorn Birds, Mary Carson is a manipulative, vicious character who has become more imperious with age. As a young woman, she used her good looks to get what she wanted, and as an old woman,...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2020, 2:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

In The Thorn Birds, Dane is the son of Margaret (Meggie) O’Neill; his biological father is the priest Ralph De Bricassart, with whom she had a very brief affair. Meggie does not tell her husband,...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2020, 12:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

This question is a matter of opinion. This opinion is based on one definition of the word "evil." To some, the word "evil" means literally, "far from God." According to this interpretation of the...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2019, 2:04 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Justine O'Neill in The Thorn Birds is a strong, intelligent character with a forceful personality. Despite her unfortunate family background, with a miserly, tyrannical father and an unhappy,...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2020, 7:42 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Luke O'Neill in The Thorn Birds has so many negative characteristics that most of the characters in the other two novels could be considered his opposite in numerous ways. In The Kite Runner, the...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2020, 10:07 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

All three men share a number of things in common. For one thing, they all have retrograde attitudes towards women, seeing them as little more than wives and mothers who must do whatever their...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2020, 1:57 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The characters referenced all serve as antagonists in the respective novels. The main personality trait that Mary Carson, Fiona Cleary, Luke O'Neill, Assef, and Rasheed have in common is...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2020, 2:10 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The characters of Mary Carson and Fiona Cleary in The Thorn Birds are similar in numerous ways, but the differences between them become more significant in shaping the plot. Both Mary and Fiona are...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2020, 9:30 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

On balance, you'd have to say that it would be Fiona Cleary. Whatever you might think of her sordid past, there's no doubt that she's displayed some heroic qualities in making the sacrifice to...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2020, 6:48 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Meggie Cleary, the protagonist whose life we follow from childhood up, is a good female character. She is pretty, appealing, loving, and devoted, as well as courageous. She cares deeply about...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2020, 9:19 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The five characters in question are all, broadly speaking, antagonists who stand in the way of more heroic and sympathetic characters, presenting obstacles for them to overcome either emotionally...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2020, 12:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The authors of both novels offer portraits of unhappy marriages for these couples. While Meggie’s situation in The Thorn Birds cannot be described as happy, it is not as bad as Mariam’s marriage A...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2020, 6:03 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

I would argue that Tariq is most similar to Dane in The Thorn Birds and Hassan in The Kite Runner. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Tariq is the quintessential hero, courageous and always ready to...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2017, 4:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Though Mary Carson is much like Rasheed in that she is self-serving and opportunistic, Luke O’Neill and Rasheed share qualities that reveal similar views about male–female partnerships and their...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2018, 2:30 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Characters who seem the polar opposite of Mary Carson in The Thorn Birds are Hassan in The Kite Runner and Tariq in A Thousand Splendid Suns. They are opposites in temperament and behavior as well...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2020, 11:26 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Fiona initially seems to be a compliant wife and mother whose primary concern is caring for her children. She tends to be stoical in quietly accepting her life’s hardships, often deferring to her...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2020, 7:01 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Luke O'Neill and Amir are similar in that they are both deeply flawed individuals. Luke is a crude, selfish man who thinks only of his own needs. He marries Meggie for her money and then proceeds...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2020, 10:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Amir, the protagonist of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, is a young Pashtun boy who witnesses the beating and rape of his friend, Hassan, but makes no effort to intervene. Amir eventually leaves...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2016, 10:23 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

Luke O’Neill in The Thorn Birds is very similar to Assef in The Kite Runner in that they both exhibit sociopathic tendencies. Luke and Assef are both bullies in their own respective ways, but Assef...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2018, 10:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

In numerous ways, Cardinal Vittorio Scarbanza di Contini-Verchese in The Thorn Birds resembles Rahim Khan in The Kite Runner and Hakim in A Thousand Splendid Suns. The main similarity lies in...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2020, 5:40 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The polar opposite of Luke O'Neill in A Thousand Splendid Suns is Tariq. In The Thorn Birds, Luke is presented as an arrogant, self-centered and selfish man, who cares only about himself. He is...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2021, 5:07 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Thorn Birds

The character of Tariq in A Thousand Splendid Suns is the polar opposite of Mary Carson in The Thorn Birds. His distinctions from Mary are strong in attitudes toward power, integrity, and parental...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2021, 1:21 am (UTC)

1 educator answer