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A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris-Free Study Guide-MonkeyNotes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 5

Summary

The next morning, Rayona returns to the park where she meets Sky, a gas station attendant, and eventually his wife Evelyn who cooks at the camp. Rayona gives them a story about her parents being a way on vacation; although she doesnít seem to believe it, Evelyn takes her in and sends her to Mr. McCutcheon who hires her for camp ground maintenance. Rayona makes acquaintance with Dave, Andy, John and hears about Ellen. During one of her rounds of the camp she finds a piece of a letter written by someoneís parents. She hangs onto the letter for reasons she doesnít quite understand herself.

Notes

This chapter provides us with some characterization of Evelyn and Sky. They are flat characters but are both good people and are not quick to judge others. They also have a good sense of humor and good understanding of their customers. They have apparently been at the camp for a long time and are quick to recognize something different.



CHAPTER 6

Summary

Rayona falls asleep on the couch at Sky and Evelynís home after a day of work at the camp. At first she is conscious of them moving about her, going through her pockets in an attempt to find out who she really is. They find the scrap of letter she has saved; it appears to validate her story.

After a breakfast of six eggs, Rayona reports to the park for work. The only person she sees, however, is Ellen DeMarco who is out swimming. Ellen hoists herself onto the yellow raft. The pretty, popular girl seems to be everything Rayona would have liked to be. Although she doesnít actually meet Ellen in person until near the end of her stay at the camp, she learns everything about the other girl. She pretends they are friends, and to her Ellen has everything. Evelyn, however, has less use for Ellen and seems to think of her as finicky and spoiled. John and Andy are competing for Ellenís affections, but Dave calls her a "bubblehead" with the IQ of an ant. When she has an opportunity, Rayona watches Ellen who works as a lifeguard at the edge of the lake. When she happens to catch Ellenís eye and receives a smile, she interprets the gesture as one of possible friendship.

On the fourth of July, Ellen enters the lodge kitchen with her parents whom she introduces to Evelyn. After being reminded of her manners, Ellen introduces Rayona as one of the maintenance "men," and provides other details that Rayona hadnít shared with anyone but Evelyn and Sky. However, before Rayona has any opportunity to accuse Evelyn of violating a confidence, Ellen and her parents exchange other information, including information mentioned in Rayonaís purloined letter. The falsehood of Rayonaís story about her missing parents is thus made apparent to Evelyn.

Notes

Rayona doesnít really know what kind of person Ellen is. All she can see is that Ellen is rich, popular, and has two parents who seem to dote on her. Her fantasies put her in the same situation; it is easy to make up a story about parents on vacation and a father who does impressive things. Rayona seems to share her motherís need to be associated with people who have done something that everyone else will admire.

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