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A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris-Free Study Guide-MonkeyNotes
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Christine

Christine seems at first to be little more than a slut. She has partied herself almost to death and seems to have shallow values; for instance, she purchases a lifetime membership in a video club so Rayona will have something to remember her by.

In reality, Christineí s entire life has been one of self-preservation and searching for acceptance. Although she doesnít know why Ida insists on being addressed as "Aunt," she does know that her good looking brother takes precedence in Idaís thoughts and attentions. She isnít jealous of Lee, though, except in competing to be the one who cares the most for him. She wants him to be a hero, someone everyone in the tribe will look to, and it seems that joining the army is the way to accomplish that.

It could be said of Christine that she has a "fierce" temperament. Until her late teens, she is a daredevil, taking crazy chances and challenging anyone who dares to cross her. She is the one who "pushes" Ida, wanting to be held of Ida is busy, wanting down if Ida wants to hold her. Yet she is also very intelligent, and curious, and as a child can sit for long periods of time just watching a line of ants.

In her search for acceptance, Christine turns for a while to the Catholic religion. She becomes obsessed with small details and unfounded predictions. When a prediction made by Sister Alvina fails to come true, Christine turns her back on religion altogether and takes on the party life. She makes herself available, and is popular everywhere she goes.

Like Rayona, Christine isnít one to stay where she feels unwanted, and she enjoys doing things just to spite those she believes are against her. Thus, when she has a falling out with Ida, she moves in with Pauline, not because she likes Pauline, but because she knows it will "get Idaís goat." Christine is also able to make decisions and strike out on her own, but even the need for money wonít keep her in a situation she doesnít like. She takes a job with a promise of an apartment in Seattle, but goes from one job to another looking for "the perfect fit."

Once Christine finds a man she can love, she is faithful to him, but not demanding or possessive. While she would prefer that Elgin be faithful to her and Rayona, she isnít going to sit around moping when he isnít. She is a survivor, one who makes the best of whatever situation she finds herself in. And if her husband is going to lead a life that only occasionally crosses her path, she will simply live for the moment when he is present, but take care of herself and Rayona when he is not.

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