full title Island of the Blue Dolphins
author Scott O'Dell
type of work Novel
genre Historical Fiction
language English, with a few references to Native American languages
time and place written Written in 1960, mostly in California
date of first publicaton 1960
publisher Bantam Doubleday Dell
narrator Karana (a.k.a. Won-a-pa-lei)
climax The white men rescue Karana from the island.
setting (time) 1835–1853
setting (place) Ghalas-at, an island off the coast of California, also known as San Nicolas
point of view The novel is written only from Karana's point of view (first person)
falling action The arrival of the white men on Ghalas-at
foreshadowing Island of the Blue Dolphins does not rely heavily on foreshadowing. The most prominent case occurs at the beginning of the novel, where Chowig's attitude suggests past difficulties with the Aleuts. A disastrous battle between Karana's people and the Aleuts follows.
tone Very frank and matter of fact. Narrative voice is flowing and very metaphorically expressive.
themes Forgiveness and trust; loneliness and companionship; moral development; survival and resilience
motifs Repetition of events; personification of animals and inanimate objecets; use of metaphors and similies
symbols Dolphins; Karana's secret name; the mark of maidenhood; Tumaiyowit and the underworld