In Cloudstreet Winton explores the theme of a sense of place using the characters in his novel. This sense of place gives characters comfort, security and identity; and in some cases an escape from their troubles. Characters such as Quick and Oriel find it necessary to leave Cloud Street in order to find their sense of place. Dolly, however wishes she could relive her life in Geraldton as that gave her an identity and thus a sense of place. Throughout the novel all characters embark on a journey to reveal their sense of place. This journey gives the readers a greater insight into Winton's characters. .
Winton portrays a sense of place as having a range of different qualities to each character in the novel Cloudstreet. A sense of place can give a character an identity, which alters the way in which other characters perceive and relate to them. Some characters find that their sense of place is an escape and comfit to them. A lot of characters in Cloudstreet search for this sense of place in order to feel comfort and recognition. .
In the case of Quick Lamb, he tends to find comfit in being outdoors. Quick decides to move out of Cloudstreet and move to the outback where he believes he will have a sense of place. Working in the outback is an escape for Quick, from Cloudstreet and his family especially his mother. Quick feels leaving will give him a chance to feel a sense of belonging and a purpose. "They know he's the best shot the district's ever seen." p 203. Quick has a purpose in the outback he is well known for he's shooting. This recognition gives Quick a sense of place. Being in the outback enables Quick to gain independence and provides him with a distraction from the guilt he feels towards his brother. .
"But you needed to have partners for that, and Quick was glad to be alone." p 198.
On his return to Cloudstreet, Quick turns to working on the river. Working on the river gives Quick a feeling of belonging and thus a sense of place.