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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Island of the Blue Dolphins
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - Discussion Guide



Karana, Ramo, Chief Chowing, Ulape

Captain Orlov, The Aleuts, Kimki, Matasaip

Nanko, Rontu, Tutok, Rontu-Aru


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.


Analyze themes such as: friendship, acceptance, loneliness, courage, death, believing in yourself, coming of age, mythology & culture, women's roles, and racism.

Do symbols foreshadow the plot, affect tone and/or meaning?

Pre-Reading/Post-Reading Activities

Science: Islands, wolves, fishing, survival skills.

Social Studies: Ancient Mythologies, Native American Indian Culture, Women's Roles.

Classroom Projects: Art, Vocabulary, Writing, Fieldtrip to Channel Islands.