Island of the Blue Dolphins Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Island of the Blue Dolphins.
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Island of the Blue Dolphins Summary & Study Guide Description

Island of the Blue Dolphins Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.

At the beginning of the book Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, Karana is twelve years old. When Aleut hunters come to her island to hunt otters, her people are defeated in a battle. The next year, with their numbers diminished by their loss, they decide to abandon the island. While their ship is about to depart, Karana’s younger brother Ramo runs back to his hut for a favorite spear, but the ship starts to pull away. When Karana sees him running along the cliff, she jumps from the ship and returns to him. The ship does not return for the two stranded children, so they start to make a life for themselves the best way they can.

Karana and Ramo are not alone on the island. They have to share (or compete) with a pack of wild dogs. It is not long before Ramo is attacked and killed, leaving Karana alone to fend for herself. Karana proves to be a resourceful young woman. In the expectation that the ships will return for her, she gathers food for herself. Also, in spite of the taboo that normally prevents women from making weapons, she makes spears and a bow and arrows to defend herself and her hut from the wild dogs. She even tries her hand at hunting sea elephants. Alone on the island for years, she befriends a wild dog and tames a few birds. Remarkably, she is recognized by a friendly sea otter. Karana never completely surrenders her hope that someone will come back to her. However, as the years go by, it seems as though she enjoys her solitude and self-sufficiency.

Eventually people do come, as the Aleut hunters return for more otter. With them is a girl who has time to explore the island, and she eventually discovers Karana’s hut. Karana and the Aleut girl, who is named Tutok, exchange gifts and communicate as best they can in their two languages. At the end of season, the girl returns with the hunters, leaving Karana alone again.

Karana remains on the island for several years before white people come from California to take her away. She finds that her people have disappeared entirely. While she lives at the mission with Father Gonzales, she lives a very different life than she lived when she had an entire island to herself.

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This section contains 397 words
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