Island of the Blue Dolphins
How we cite our quotes:
I thought also of the ship. I tried to remember what Matasaip had said to me. For the first time I began to wonder if the ship would ever return. I wondered about this as I pried the shells off the rocks, and I would stop and look fearfully at the empty sea that stretched away father than my eyes could reach. (8.35)
Karana and Ramo are abandoned by their people on the island. The location of the island –surrounded on all sides by miles of wide water – emphasizes how alone they are. It's like they're on Lost.
The thought of being alone on the island while so many suns rose and went slowly back into the sea filled my heart with loneliness. I had not felt so lonely before because I was sure that the ship would return as Matasaip had said it would. Now my hopes were dead. Now I was really alone. I could not eat much, nor could I sleep without dreaming terrible dreams. (10.5)
After Ramo dies, it finally hits Karana's that she is absolutely and completely alone. How does she react? How does she learn to deal with her new loneliness?
I was happy to be home. Everything that I saw- the otter playing in the kelp, the rings of foam around the rocks that guarded the harbor, the gulls flying, the tides moving past the sandspit – filled me with happiness.
I was surprised that I felt this way, for it was only a short time ago that I had stood on this same rock and felt that I could not bear to live here another day. (11.3-4)
When Karana returns from her failed canoe voyage to the mainland, she feels happy to be on the island once again. Gone are here feelings of loneliness. Why might that be? What do the otters and gulls and tides have to do with it?