15 Oct. 2013
“The Island of the Blue Dolphins”
“The Island of the Blue Dolphins,” by Scott O’Dell, is a story of a determined indian girl who spends most of her life on an island enduring on everything she knows until a ship is sent for her. Set on an island of the coast of california, this classic novel is based on a story of Juana Maria, an indian girl left alone on an island for eighteen years. Although determined, Karana–her secret name, would have never survived without God’s mercy and grace.
In this story, Karana is faced with many series of losses and needs to survive on the island. Her people live in a village called Ghalas-at, supplying the tribe by fishing and gathering roots. Since the island had many sea otter, the aleuts who were led by a Russian named Captain Orlov persuade the tribe to hunt sea otter in return for their goods. Yet Orlov promised, he and the aleuts tried to get away without paying. The tribe was watching the aleuts and start a battle between themselves and them resulting in deaths on both sides. The aleuts get away with most of the goods and sea otter, yet Karana’s father Chief Chowig died with the majority of the men. Now Chief Kimki is appointed as the replacement. Chief Kimki, an elderly man, set off on his canoe to new land in the East, for he promised to send a “great canoe” only if he reaches the mainland. Eventually the “great canoe” reaches them. While docking aboard the ship, Karana’s brother, Ramo, decides to retrieve his fishing spear from the island–off the ship. The ship must leave because of an approaching storm. Then, as the ship starts to depart from the island, Karana jumps off the ship and swims toward the island. Abandoned, they wait for the ship to return for them everyday. Unexpectedly, Ramo is killed ruthlessly by wild, blood thirsty dogs. Alone on the island, Karana disobeys the rules she traditionally once knew by doing a mans job such as hunting, making spears, and building canoes. Karana vows to kill the pack of dogs who killed her dear brother, yet she befriends the biggest of the pack by saving him from an arrow she shot him with. She names the dog Rontu meaning "fox eyes" in her language. After getting used to the environment, Karana makes a home with a fence of whale bone and stocks her inventory in a cave—safe from Aleuts, which she finds with Rontu. She makes friends with many creatures of the island including the dolphins. One summer, the Aleuts return to hunt for sea otter. She notices that they have a girl with them and she is close to her hideout. Yet, they both meet each other and become best friends! Tutok—her friend makes her realize how much she misses her own people. Especially, when she must leave her. As the years pass, Karana loses her dear Rontu