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Free Online Notes-Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell-Synopsis/Analysis
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1. Russian

2. (give your own opinion)

3. She died a few years before the story began. (p. 27)

4. Six

5. Two years older. (p.11)

6. Ulape, more because she was older, and Karana (p.27)

7. Because they killed her brother. Also, she considers them to be a danger to her.

8. “The laws of Ghalas-at forbade the making of weapons by women of the tribe” (p.51)

9. The canoe leaks too much.

10. When she returns from her attempted trip by canoe. (p. 68)

11. Rib bones from whales (p. 72)

12. Poles made from trees bound together with sinew and covered with female kelp (p. 74)

13. Won-a-pa-lei (p. 5)

14. One of the gods about whom Karana had heard stories. (p. 73)

15. Santa Catalina Island. (p. 25)


1. The Aleuts - From where did they come?

2. Russian explorers - What was their relationship with the Aleuts?

3. California missions - Who lived there? What did they do?

4. Indian tribes that lived on the Channel Islands - How did they live?

5. Canoes - How did the Indians make and use them?

6. Basket-making - Describe the process

7. Dolphins - Describe where and how they live

8. Sea Elephants - as above

9. Devilfish (octopus) - as above

10. Otters - as above

11. Abalone - How are they harvested and prepared?

12. Kelp - What is it and what are its uses?


The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author’s life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.

In this study guide for a well-known piece of literature, we have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.

Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, these Book Notes will help you to accomplish that goal.

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