In Island of the Blue Dolphins, what is the conflict in chapter 13?

In Island of the Blue Dolphins, one conflict in chapter 13 is the conflict between the two male sea elephants. A second conflict is the internal conflict Karana faces about handling weapons.

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Chapter 13 begins with Karana proceeding with her plan to somehow get a tooth from a sea elephant. She needs the tooth in order to finish the spear that she needs for protection and hunting. Once at the place where the sea elephants are, Karana wrestles with the law that her culture has in place about women and weapons. In addition to the law, the people have been made to believe that the weapons themselves will fail when a woman uses them. The conflict here is an internal conflict. Karana is trying to gain enough courage to battle with a sea elephant, but she is also trying to internally find the courage to go against cultural norms and superstitions.

Karana decides to go ahead with her plan, and she singles out a young bull. At this point the reader is anticipating a man vs. nature conflict in which Karana does battle against the sea elephant. Karana tries to shoot it with an arrow. She misses, and this is where the conflict shifts to a nature vs. nature conflict. Karana doesn't continue shooting at the bull. Instead, an older male confronts the young bull, and the two sea elephants battle each other to the death. Karana will return to the place in the next chapter and take the tooth that she needs for her spear from the dead animal.

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