Island of the Blue Dolphins
Tradition and Customs Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
The laws of Ghalas-at forbade the making of weapons by women of the tribe, so I went out to search for any that might have been left behind. (9.10)
Why weren't women allowed to make weapons?
As I lay there I wondered what would happen to me if I went against the law of our tribe which forbade the making of weapons by women – if I did not think of it at all and made those things which I must have to protect myself.
Would the four winds blow in from the four directions of the world and smother me as I made the weapons? Or would the earth tremble, as many said, and bury me beneath its falling rocks? Or, as other said, would the sea rise over the islands in a terrible flood? Would the weapons break in my hands at the moment when my life was in danger, which is what my father had said? (9.26-27)
What do you think of images Karana uses to describe what will happen if she breaks the law that says women can't make weapons?
Yet I cannot say that I was really afraid as I stood there on the shore. I knew that my ancestors had crossed the sea in their canoes, coming from that place which lay beyond. Kimki too had crossed the sea. I was not nearly so skilled with a canoe as these men, but I must say that whatever might befall me on the endless waters did not trouble me. It meant far less than the thought of staying on the island alone, without a home or companions, pursued by wild dogs, where everything reminded me of those who were dead and those who had gone away. (10.9)
The distant past encourages Karana to take the journey across the sea. However, it's the recent past that pushes her to go on the trip.