In The Cay, comment on Timothy's death.

2 Answers | Add Yours

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The chapter in which Timothy dies in this novel is Chapter Fifteen, which is when the storm hits the island, and Timothy ties himself and Phillip to a strong palm tree, with Phillip between Timothy and the palm tree so that Timothy is left to face the brunt of the storm, protecting Phillip. Although Phillip is blind, it is clear that after the storm he becomes aware of how Timothy has sacrificed himself for him. As he feels Timothy's back, he makes a startling discovery:

Timothy had been cut to ribbons by the wind, which drove the rain and tiny grains of sand before it. It had flayed his back and his legs until there were very few places that weren't cut. He was bleeding, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. I found his hard, horny hand again, wrapped mine around it, and lay down beside him.

When Phillip wakes up, he finds that Timothy is dead. Timothy thus clearly gave his life to save Phillip, in spite of the difficulties that Phillip has given him and the kind of racist attitude he has displayed towards Timothy. His death is thus a powerful symbol of self-sacrifice on behalf of someone else who is, at least towards the beginning of the narrative, so unworthy of it.

We’ve answered 317,376 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question