Gary Paulsen, the narrator and author of “Older Run” and Karana, in an excerpt from Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, are both some type of adventurer. Their adventures and reactions are similar in various ways and are diverse in others.
Gary Paulsen experiences a real-life survival adventure with his sled dogs. He is a dogsledder with a team of ten dogs. The dogs have been through vigorous preparation so he is sure that they will have had enough strength and training to satisfy him throughout the run. The run starts out well; Gary was carrying enough extra food and decides to do an open run. He decides this because he wants to steer clear of the forests, the younger dogs might forget what they’re doing and run into trees. As they reach a trestle, Gary discovers that some nutcase had stolen the plywood from the trestle. As a result of the plywood being taken, Gary performs a suicidal maneuver that causes him to fly twenty feet, and then land into the snow. After he realizes his luck, he works to prepare his dogs to recuperate so he can finish his journey. Gary tries in vain to get back his dogs but each time he is met with failure. But, his dogs come back for him as he merrily drives them to their destination.
Karana also experiences real-life adventure which is like Paulsen’s in some ways. Both Paulsen and Karana are vengeful torward someone or an animal. Paulsen is vengeful toward the maniac that tore out the plywood from the trestle because the missing plywood caused him a sufficient amount of difficulty. Karana is vengeful toward the dag that killed her brother because now she was alone on the island except for other animals, including a pack of vicious, menacing dogs. Like Paulsen, Karana also feels determined. She feels determined when she built the fire to drive the dogs out of the cave because it will give her a chance to kill some of the pack. Paulsen feels determined