Island of the Blue Dolphins
Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
A long time before this my ancestors had used the cave, why I do not know, and along the walls on each side they had cut figures in stone. There were figures of pelicans floating in the water and flying, of dolphins, whales, seal elephants, gulls, ravens, dogs, and foxes. Near the opening of the cave they had also cut two deep basins in the stone, which I decided to use for storing water since they held much more than the baskets. (14.16)
The past is not painful here. Instead, the work of her ancestors helps Karana. She uses their cave as a safe escape.
I turned the canoe around and started back toward the opening. Above it, on a deep ledge that ran from one side of the room to the other, my gaze fell upon a row of strange figures. There must have been two dozen of them standing against the black wall. They were as tall as I, with long arms and legs and short bodies made of reeds and clothes in gull feathers. Each one had eyes fashioned of round or oblong disks of abalone shell, but the rest of their faces were blank. The eyes glittered down at me, moved as the light on the water moved and was reflected upon them. They were more alive than the eyes of those who live. (20.11)
Karana stumbles upon figures of her ancestors – and a skeleton in the middle of them. What does she mean when she says they were "more alive" than living people? Why is she later afraid to be in the cave? How does this connect to the theme of the past in the book?
I often thought of Tutok, but on these days especially I would look off into the north and wish that she were here to see me. I could hear her talking in her strange language and I would make up things to say to her and things for her to say to me. (23.18)
What does Karana miss about Tutok?