At Hiruharama


Penelope Fitzgerald

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Parrish Character Analysis

Parrish has one of the last homesteads on the outskirts of Awanui. He keeps Blue Chequer racing pigeons, two of which Tanner borrows so that he can use them to send for the doctor when Kitty goes into labor. Parrish is willing enough to lend Tanner the pigeons, but when he does, he tells Tanner that he can only help him because the Tanners’ house is on the pigeons’ pre-existing route. “If you’d have lived over the other way I couldn’t have helped you,” Parrish says to Tanner, showing that he is willing to help only insofar as it doesn’t cause him (or his pigeons) significant inconvenience.

Parrish Quotes in At Hiruharama

The At Hiruharama quotes below are all either spoken by Parrish or refer to Parrish. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Value and Perception Theme Icon
At Hiruharama Quotes

Parrish didn’t mind because Hiruharama, Tanner’s place, was on a more or less direct line from Awanui to Te Paki station, and that was the line his pigeons flew.

“If you’d have lived over the other way I couldn’t have helped you,” Parrish said.

Related Characters: Parrish (speaker), Tanner
Page Number: 410
Explanation and Analysis:

He had made the pigeons’ nest out of packing-cases. They ought to have flown daily for exercise, but he hadn’t been able to manage that. Still, they looked fair enough, a bit disheveled, but not so that you’d notice. It was four o’clock, breezy, but not windy. He took them out into the bright air which, even that far from the coast, was full of the salt of the ocean. How to toss a pigeon he had no idea. He opened the basket, and before he could think what to do next they were out and up into the blue. He watched in terror as after reaching a certain height they began turning round in tight circles as though puzzled or lost. Then, apparently sighting something on the horizon that they knew, they set off strongly toward Awanui.

Related Characters: Tanner, Parrish, Kitty, The Doctor
Page Number: 411
Explanation and Analysis:
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Parrish Character Timeline in At Hiruharama

The timeline below shows where the character Parrish appears in At Hiruharama. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
At Hiruharama
Value and Perception Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility and Colonialism Theme Icon
...send a book on childbirth. He then goes to the house of a man named Parrish, who keeps racing pigeons. Tanner asks to borrow two of the birds so he can... (full context)