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Study Guide Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

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The inhabitants of the island were able to pack their things before boarding the ship. No longer was there a need to flee immediately with nothing except the provisions they had already put in the canoes. As they prepared to leave, Ulape took time to draw a blue mark across her nose and cheekbones. This signaled that she was unmarried.

As they boarded the ship, Karana lost her brother, Ramo. She was assured that he had already boarded ahead of her, but, once onboard, she could not find him. In a panic, she sighted him on shore. He had gone back to get his spear, the one for which Karana had already refused to let him return. As the ship pulled out, she jumped overboard. Those around her could not restrain her. In the ocean, she let go of the precious items she had chosen to bring with her. She had to do so because she could not carry them and swim to shore. As she swam she was filled with plans to punish Ramo, but when she reached him, the plans were forgotten.


At this point, being left behind seemed terrible, but it was assumed that someone would return for them. Karana and Ramo did not think that they were simply left there.

At the end of the book, when the white men return for Karana, she too puts a blue line across her nose and cheekbones.



When Karana and Ramo reached the site of the village, they heard the wild dogs who were having a feast on the food remains that had been left behind by the villagers. The dogs had eaten so much that there was barely enough for a meal for the two of them. The next night the dogs returned.

Ramo asked when the ship would return. Karana knew that it would take days for it to reach the land where Kimki waited and return. Ramo said that he was now Chief of Ghalas-at and must be obeyed. Karana reminded him of the rites of manhood that he must first endure. Ramo became pale at the thought and Karana reminded him that there were no longer any men to give the rites. Ramo gave himself a new name. He called himself Chief Tanyositlopai.

The following morning when Karana awoke Ramo was gone. She assumed that he had gone to where the canoes were. Later that day, she heard the wild dogs barking and went toward the sound. She found the lifeless body of her young brother. Nearby were two dog bodies, one with Ramo's spear in its side. She carried his body back to the village. The dogs followed her to the village, then, when she picked up a club, they left for their lair. She followed them and, after they entered the lair, she put brush in front of the entrance and set it on fire, but there was not enough available brush to do what she wanted to do. Later that night, when she could not sleep, she planned how she would someday kill the dogs, all of them.


This chapter gives us a good illustration of how a desire for revenge can overtake anyone.


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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Island of the Blue Dolphins". . 09 May 2017