Island of the Blue Dolphins
Violence Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
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 interactions with the otter Won-a-nee and the otter's babies inspire Karana to become a pacifist (someone who is against violence). She promises to never again hurt the animals of the island. Why might that be?
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)
Though she's the only person on the island, Karana still faces violence from the earthquake and the giant waves that followed it. Notice how the waves are described as battling men. What does this say about the violence of nature? Why does the color red appear here?