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Analysis

Literary Devices in Island of the Blue Dolphins

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Red, red, red. It's everywhere in this novel. It's on the sails of the Aleuts' ships, it's on the shore when the sea elephants are duking it out, and it's in the waves when the two giant tidal wave...

Setting

Our main character, Karana, is a native of an island about 75 miles off the coast of Southern California, who gets left behind when the people of her village are taken away to the mainland. Though...

Narrator Point of View

We get all the details of this story straight from the horse's mouth – that is, this is a first-person story told to us by the main character herself: Karana. The first-person narration shows us...

Genre

Island of the Blue Dolphins will probably remind us of other island adventure novels, like Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe or Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island or even H.G. Wells's chilling T...

Tone

Our narrator Karana is not one for exaggeration or over-the-top language. You won't find her using big words or flowery phrases. Instead, her tone is clear and her word-choices are simple. Her spee...

Writing Style

Even though Karana gives some awesome descriptions of her lush island home, they're usually written in a plain and straightforward style. She doesn't use fancy words or complicated figures of speec...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of this book is not a person, or a thing, but a place, and a very specific place at that: the Island of the Blue Dolphins. This title tells us that we are concerned not just with the tale...

What's Up With the Ending?

As with almost every great deserted island tale, the end of the novel shows our heroine leaving the island. Where's she going? We're not entirely sure, but we do know that she – and her little do...

Tough-o-Meter

Island of the Blue Dolphin's adventure-packed plot is exciting enough for readers of any age, although young readers will especially like the beautiful language. The chapters are short and simply f...

Plot Analysis

Aleuts vs. Natives The Russian Aleuts land on the Island of the Blue Dolphins to hunt for otter. They negotiate with the natives, though they eventually break their promise. The Russian hunters kil...

Trivia

Island of the Blue Dolphins is based on the true story of The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, who lived alone for eighteen years. Unlike Karana, she returned to the island to stay with her child,...
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