Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. What are the sources for the figurative language used by Karana?

2. What foreshadowing is there that the Aleuts have brought trouble along with them?

3. What gives the Island of the Blue Dolphins its name?

4. If the Ghalas-at villagers had shared the white bass with the Aleuts, would the Aleuts have honored the terms of their agreement? Should the villagers have shared the fish?

5. What bearing does Ramo's death have on the eventual change in Karana?

6. What difficulties does Karana first encounter in making a home for herself?

7. Why does Karana's attempt to flee the island fail?

8. Why does Karana decide to take Rontu into her home?

9. What evidence is there that Karana is gradually changing in her sympathies with human and animal life? Give specific examples.

10. What common interests and emotions do Karana and Tutok, her supposed enemy, have?

11. What statement in the last chapter best explains Karana's need for human society?