In Yellow Raft In Blue Water, By Michael Dorris

1034 words - 4 pages

thesis:In Yellow Raft in Blue Water, by Michael Dorris, Christine and Rayona shared journeys of self-expression through roads and methods that contrasted sharply, but both managed to reach the same plane of understanding in the end.Traveling is a mean of self-expression of where one would like to be in life. The roads, vehicles, and attitudes on the road can give insight to a character's real thoughts, and more importantly, a look at their own personal journey of self discovery. In Yellow Raft in Blue Water, by Michael Dorris, Christine and Rayona shared journeys of self-expression through roads and methods that contrasted sharply, but both managed to reach the same plane of understanding in the end.Rayona had never been able to lead a steady life style. Constantly moving around from school to school and seeing her mother move from boyfriend to boyfriend has left her in need of a place to settle down. "I try and imagine what it would be like to settle in one of those places we drive through (27)." Such images of happiness leave Rayona in need to be in control. On the road for herself, she knows she can make wiser decisions. "I imagine that Mom and Dad are gulls ant that I am driving. I surprise them by gunning the engine and driving faster than they expected... Their eyes glint, betrayed, scared shitless (42)." She only wishes to [pay her parents back for not fulfilling their roles, but she instead learns to live with this void in her life. On the unpredictable road trips with her mother, Rayona never knew what she was headed for and was forced into her mother's reckless driving and lifestyle. "[Rayona] was prepared for a crash, and her eyes reflected streetlights whenever I glanced at her (43)." Rayona's need for change grew as she became more aware of the false journey she was on with her mother and looked forward into the unknown to gain a better understanding of herself.The feeling of resentment towards her family leave Rayona off on her own journey, without a car and only her feet to transport her as a symbol of her seclusion. "I stand between my most likely destinations, and it enters my mind to straddle the middle strap, stick out my thumb, and go in the direction the first ride takes me (73)." Alone but not frightened, Rayona finds work at the Bearpaw Park and lives in an ideal family relationship among Shy and Evelyn. And like the hero's quest cycle, Rayona must return to her own family, but she will return changed. "When you don't know what to expect, you hold on in every way you can (118)," recalls Rayona about her ride at the rodeo and also indirectly about her life in what was often a speeding car. After riding the bronco and completing the turbulent phase in her life, she returns to her Indian roots and learns to find solace in her tumultuous lifestyle and background, characterized by her not giving up on Babe's back. Along with this new acceptance of her unruly...

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