Below me, Rontu was running along the cliff barking at the screaming gulls. Pelicans were chattering as they fished the blue water. Far off I could hear the bellow of a sea elephant. But suddenly, as I thought of Tutok, the island seemed very quiet.

These lines appear at the very end of chapter 22. Before, Karana had looked out onto her island and been happy because she was home, now, she listens to the sonds of the very same island and feels alone because Tutok's voice, nor any human voice, is among those sounds. That these lines imitate the earlier ones so closely implies that it is Karana, and not the world around her, that is changing.