Character Analysis: A Yellow Raft In Blue Water

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Family Secrets Through Three Generations
Three complicated generations, intertwining on crossing paths through secrets kept in an invisible mystery. A classic novel, A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris, sets in the stories told by the perspectives of three Indian women. Each character tells their own story revealing hidden secrets that shapes the character the way they are. Rayona, a teenage girl, struggles to find herself as she deals with racism and isolation. Christine, an Indian mother, experiences through resentment toward her loved ones as she searches for love from others. Ida, a mother and grandmother, faces betrayal and learning lessons from her mistakes. Putting pieces back together from the past as the women kindle their
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After Rayona and Christine arrive to Ida’s house, Christine leaves Rayona in Ida’s care. Rayona ends up living with and describes how Ida would feel about her departure, “Aunt Ida is a mystery to me. She seems to take everything as it comes, but it’s all a burden. I tell myself she won’t miss me, she won’t care that I left the way I did.” (85). Rayona feels that Ida does not care about her well-being and prefers to not have the responsibility of watching over her. Rayona yearns for Ida’s affection and love. Rayona loses hope in her family relationship with Ida as she expresses a bitter feeling of being neglected. This lack of trust caused by the unknown information of Rayona shows these secrets are amplified by how they are kept. Ida choosing to not tell Rayona more about herself and spending time with her creates a gap in their relationship. Rayona ends up not knowing Ida’s true self and only has a vague interpretation of her with few details. Rayona’s inability to reach out to Ida and rely on her causes the feeling of mistrust that makes Rayona leave the household, rising an unmended relationship. Thus, family secrets affect the characters by causing a lack of trust due to unspoken
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