Island of the Blue Dolphins Questions and Answers
by Scott O'Dell

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How has Karana's attitude toward the island changed when she returns?  

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Karana originally leaves the island with her people, sailing aboard a ship belonging to white missionaries. Her brother Ramo is meant to come along on the voyage too, but he gets left behind. Karana is very close to her brother and simply will not leave without him. So she dives from the ship into the sea and swims back to the island.

Once she's returned to the island, Karana's whole attitude changes, especially after Ramo is killed by a pack of wild dogs. All alone on the island, Karana becomes fiercely self-reliant. When she lived with her tribe, she was restricted to certain menial tasks such as cooking and washing, which were reserved for women. But now that he's on her own, Karana engages in the kind of activities that, according to tribal custom, are the sole preserve of men, such as hunting and fishing. For Karana, the island is now no longer a place to live but a harsh wilderness to be tamed.

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