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1. Dorris uses the images of
water and rain frequently in his text. Discuss the significance
of these images with relation to the themes and structure of the
2. Religion plays a major role
in the novel and appears in a variety of different ways. Discuss
the various appearances of religion and its significance to the
text. What is the difference between Father Hurlburt and Father
Tom? Do characters have to be affiliated with the church to be religious?
3. Each narrator makes references
to the popular culture of her time. What is the effect of such references
within the novel? Be sure to consider elements of culture that are
not necessarily linked to a specific era or point in time.
4. By presenting three different
narratives in his novel, Dorris highlights the fact that all stories
are inherently subjective. In what ways does this subjectivity come
across in each of these narratives? Is the narrator conscious of
it? Is there a definite right or wrong viewpoint in this novel?
5. How do Christine and Rayona
use images of planes and flying in their narratives? What is the
significance of these images? Do such images come up in Ida’s story?
6. Discuss the role of escapism
in A Yellow Raft in Blue Water. How does each character
escape his or her reality? What is the result?
Ace your assignments with our guide to A Yellow Raft in Blue Water!