In Island of the Blue Dolphins, what is Karana's reaction to being stranded?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Based in part on a true story, Island of the Blue Dolphins is Scott O'Dell's 1960 novel about a young Indian girl who is marooned on an island and lives there alone for many years.

Karana, the protagonist, is a very pragmatic girl. When she is marooned, she immediately takes charge of the situation, building shelter and searching for food. When her brother Ramo is killed by a pack of wild dogs, she is furious, taking it on herself to kill some of the dogs in revenges; however, she tames the leader of the pack and secures their protection on the island. She adapts to isolation on the island, teaching herself tasks that she would never have learned in her tribe. Karana also feels a great loneliness, and domesticates several animals to fill her sense of community. Finally, on meeting a girl from the rival tribe that attacked her own, Karana realizes that she needs people to survive emotionally, and allows herself to be rescued by a passing American ship.


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