Island of the Blue Dolphins
How we cite our quotes:
All night I sat there with the body of my brother and did not sleep. I vowed that someday I would go back and kill the wild dogs in the cave. I would kill all of them. I thought of how I would do it, but mostly I thought of Ramo, my brother. (8.50)
Karana vows revenge against the dog pack for killing her brother. Why? Does she get her revenge?
Why I did not send the arrow I cannot say. I stood on the rock with the bow pulled back and my hand would not let it go. The big dog lay there and did not move and this may be the reason. If he had gotten up I would have killed him. I stood there for a long time looking down at him and then I climbed off the rocks.
He did not move when I went up to him, nor could I see him breathing until I was very close. The head of the arrow was in his chest and the broken shaft was covered with blood. The thick fur around his neck was matted from the rain. (15.22-23)
Karana does not kill the leader of the dog pack even though she planned to get revenge for the death of her brother. She just can't bring herself to shoot the arrow that would kill him. Why? What kind of relationship will Karana have later with the leader?
At that moment, while he lay there on the grass with the dog circling warily and the pack moving slowly toward him, without knowing that I did so, I fitted an arrow to the bow. A good distance separated Rontu from his attacker and I could end the battle before he was wounded further or the pack full upon him. Yet, as before, I did not send the arrow. (17.23)
Why doesn’t Karana stop the dog fight? What does Rontu's victory accomplish?