Yellow Raft in Blue Water

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Characterization in Michael Dorris’ Yellow Raft in Blue Water

Humanities Outcomes 1.5 1.6 1.8 Fund of CM Outcome 1.2 1.5

1. Uses and explicates at least six direct quotations from the novel in the body of the essay. 2. Cites all indirect quotations.
3. Uses parallelism at least twice.

In Michael Dorris’ A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, he tells the story of three generations of women who struggle with their own self esteem. This affects their relationships with others they come in contact with. The women Rayona, Christine, and Ida as mothers and daughter find it difficult to understand each other and talk to each other. Rayona is a passive-aggressive teenager that keeps her thoughts to herself even though she has plenty to say. This is shown in the way thinks to herself, and acts toward others, and the way she looks.

One way Rayona shows that she is passive aggressive by the way she thinks to herself. She is not a talker;she keeps all thoughts to herself. In the novel Rayona says, “ I think of things to say and then don’t say them” (13). This statement shows how Rayona already knows what to say to others, but for some reason she does not let it out. She does not express her emotions and let people know how she feels. Rayona stated “This scrap of paper in my hand makes me feel poor in a way like I just heard of rich. Jealous. What kind of a person would throw it away?” (81). Rayona finds a letter her first day of work, and the letter reminds her of her family. Rayona’s relationship with her mother and father is not good. Reading this letter makes her feel as though she lacks what the person in this letter has. This shows that Rayona is passive- aggressive because even though she feels sad she does not say anything to make her relationship with her family work.

Robinson 2
The way Rayona acts toward others shows how she is passive-aggressive. “ You...
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