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

1) What is the effect of changing verb tense during the novel? That is, Rayona tells her story in present tense while the other two narrators tell theirs in past tense.

1a) What impact would it have on the story if the entire novel were told in past tense?

2) Why is it so important for Christine that Lee join the military? Was this a mistake on Lee’s part?

3) Did Ida make a mistake in refusing to marry Willard once she was pregnant with is child? Why or why not?

4) After fighting so hard to keep Christine, why does Ida raise her with so little motherly affection? How might she have handled the situation differently?

5) How are Ida, Christine and Rayona carbon copies of each other? In what ways are they different?

6) Ida says that she has the power of words. However, Christine and Rayona each also choose specific times and reasons to make words work for them. How does each character use the motif of the story? Does that usage create damage or healing or both?

7) Explain how each of the major characters sacrifices herself without any accompanying personal loss of ego.

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