Island of the Blue Dolphins
Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Rontu had a gash on his nose from the giant's beak, and I had many cuts and bruises. I saw two more giant devilfish along the reef that summer, but I did not try to spear them. (19.39)
Karana's hunt of the giant devilfish ends up in a dead end: she kills the fish, but she can't carry his body from the shore. She and Rontu are hurt during the hunt. What does she learn from this incident? Why doesn't Karana hunt devilfish again?
After that summer, after being friends with Won-a-nee and her young, I never killed another otter. I had an otter cape for my shoulders, which I used until it wore out, but never again did I make a new one. Nor did I ever kill another cormorant for its beautiful feathers, though they have long thin necks and make ugly sounds when they talk to each other. Nor did I kill seals for their sinews, using instead kelp to bind the things that needed it. Nor did I kill another wild dog, nor did I try to spear another elephant. (24.18)
Karana's friendship with the otter Won-a-nee helps her to start respecting the animals on the island. She goes vegetarian, for lack of a better word. What do you think of Karana's decision? Do you think you would do the same?
I stood facing the rock, with my feet on a narrow ledge and one hand thrust deep into a crack. Over my shoulder I could see the wave coming. It did not come fast, for the other wave was still running out. For a while I thought that it would not come at all because the two suddenly met beyond the sandpit. The first wave was trying to reach the sea and the second one was struggling toward the shore.
Like two giants they crashed against each other. They rose high in the air, bending first one way and then the other. There was a roar as if great spears were breaking in battle, and in the red light of the sun the spray that flew around them looked like blood. (27.11-27.12)
For Karana, nature is something that can't be owned or controlled. This is different from her father's view and the view of the Aleuts. Here nature threatens her life as the giant waves break on the shore. Notice how the waves are described as battling men. Why does the color red appear here?