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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 11

Summary

Christine becomes pregnant with Elginís baby, and he marries her. Soon, however, he begins coming home later and later in the day. When she finally demands to know where he has been, he leaves and doesnít return for 3 days.

On December 10, a week past her due day, Christine begins her labor contractions. On the same day she receives a brief letter from Dayton informing her that Lee is dead. Elgin shows up at the hospital after the baby is born. She gives him Daytonís letter, hoping that Elgin will tell her itís a mistake and that the military does these screw-ups all the time. Instead he tries to comfort her, asking for another chance and promising to be different.



Christine rejects Elginís promises, but in the following days and weeks, she occasionally turns to him for kindness, allows him to father baby Rayona, and even occasionally has sex with him. But she never believes him again, never completely expects him to stick around long or to be completely faithful to her.

Notes

Christine allows herself to believe in Elgin because she needs to believe in something. She still needs to be wanted by someone. Elgin has played this game before, but he is genuinely attracted to Christine. When she becomes pregnant, it is his idea for them to get married, even though he puts it off for awhile. And although he is grossly unfaithful to her, he returns periodically and renews the flame of their relationship. He is a loser and lacks responsibility himself, but on the occasions of his return, he does pay the rent.

A reader canít help but wonder why Christine doesnít divorce Elgin, but the thought never seems to cross her mind. It is partly because, in her words, she "never had a man before Elgin." Also, there is no other man she wants, none other who has ever come close to earning her trust, so there is no reason to put up with the hassle of divorce. And when their paths do occasionally cross, she still enjoys being with him. She does seem oblivious to the effect Elgin's habitual absence has on Rayona.

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