Study Guide Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell|
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STUDY GUIDE: THE ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS
No repetition of unhelpful actions
Karana turned away from courses of action that were not helpful. This occurred when she decided not to make a second attempt to “look for the country that lay beyond the ocean” in a canoe. It occurred when she decided not to kill the leader of the wild dogs. It occurred when she stopped hunting devilfish. It occurred when she decided to never again return to the cave with the skeleton in it. It occurred when she decided to no longer try to kill a sea elephant.
The trees on the island
Karana’s description of the trees on the island gives us an idea of how difficult life there is.
The author uses the color red for the sail of the Aleut/Russian ship because it brings forth the image of blood. (Possibly the author was influenced by the frequent use of the word “Reds” to describe the Russians in the days that he was writing this story.)
Scott O’Dell uses fog to convey to us the image of spirits at the beginning of chapter 9. Karana tells us “It made shapes as it drifted and it reminded me of all the people who were dead and those who were gone.”
At the beginning of chapter 4, the chapter in which the massacre occurs, the weather is described as a “sunless day.” This is a clue to what will happen that day.
At the end of chapter 11, the author uses our memories of smells to take us into the scene that he is describing. He says “The smell of the tide pools was strong. Sweet odors came from the wild grasses in the ravines and from the sand plants on the dunes.”
As Karana gathers more animal members into her family, we are aware that she really wants a family of her own.
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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Island of the Blue Dolphins".
. 09 May 2017