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Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins


by Scott O'Dell

Island of the Blue Dolphins Theme of Tradition and Customs

To the 21st-century Shmooper, the Island of the Blue Dolphins might seem like a pretty strange place. The island people practice traditions and customs that we just don't follow today. But, hey, Karana struggles with understanding these traditions and customs too. When her people leave the island, will she still follow the customs and traditions of her people, some of which are outdated, while others are just plain destructive? What is the new order she'll follow? Is she starting from square one? How will her past affect her future?

Questions About Tradition and Customs

  1. Why does Chief Chowig tell the Aleutian his secret name?
  2. Why does Ramo assume he's the new chief of the island after everyone leaves?
  3. Why aren't the women of the island allowed to make weapons?
  4. What do the gods of the island represent?
  5. What will happen to Karana after she leaves the island?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In order to make progress, we must break with tradition.

Traditions and customs are important to our understanding of the past, present, and future.

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