Study Guide

Ramo in Island of the Blue Dolphins

By Scott O'Dell

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Ramo is Karana's younger brother. When the white men come to the island to evacuate the natives, he returns to the village for his fishing spear and actually misses the boat. Always the caring older sister, Karana jumps off the departing ship to be with her brother on the island.

Even though Ramo's time on the island is short, he plays an important role in the book. Ramo somewhat comically – and then tragically – represents the last of the male islanders. Since he's the next in line to be chief of the deserted village, he tells his sister call him "Chief Tanyositlopai" (8.28). (Yeah, right.) He acts all big and tough, puffing out his chest and wearing over-sized sea elephant teeth around his neck. But the image of the little boy playing grownup is shattered when he gets attacked by the dog pack. This shadow of this older ruling order is stamped out after the wolves kill Ramo. It's at this point that Karana vows revenge.

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