A Yellow Raft in Blue Water

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Summary

Chapter 3

Summary Chapter 3

Rayona frequently thinks that other people might accept her more readily if she were more pleasant to look at, which reveals how she feels physically marked as an outsider by her dark skin. Rayona thinks Annabelle and Foxy are both quite attractive, and this fact makes Rayona feels like an outsider when she is with them. On the reservation, Rayona’s foreignness is jarring, as she is racially different from everyone else. When other people look at her, especially her peers, all they see is Rayona’s black heritage. Even other half-Indian children crack jokes about Rayona’s dark skin. Being much smarter than most of the kids in her class does not help Rayona fit in either, as the nuns at the mission school constantly single her out for praise. Ironically, although Rayona finds it hard to relate to other people her age in Seattle, she has an even harder time with the youths on the reservation and is lonelier than ever.

Rayona does find a kind of acceptance in Father Tom. In some ways, Father Tom is even more of an outsider than Rayona. He is the only person on the reservation with no Native American blood, since even Father Hurlburt is part Native American and can communicate with his parishioners. When other Indians make fun of Father Tom in a language he cannot understand, Rayona sympathizes and eventually even helps him out with the language. With no other place to belong to, Rayona finds acceptance as the only member of the God Squad. Father Tom seems to be the only person on the reservation who thinks Rayona worthwhile, so even though she sees him as somewhat foolish and ignorant, she enjoys Father Tom’s company.