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Theodore Taylor's novel, The Cay, explores the relationship that develops between a pair of shipwrecked castaways: young Phillip, and Timothy, a West Indian sailor. Phillip has obvious racist beliefs that he has inherited from his mother, and he demonstrates them during his observations and actions after he is saved by Timothy, a native of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Phillip eventually goes blind during their long ordeal, and he comes to depend upon Timothy. A bond develops between them, and Phillip grows to love the old sailor. Perhaps the most important lesson learned on the island is that color has no impact upon the bond of friendship. Phillip matures during his stay, and his own innate dislike of African-Americans disappears as he grows to first depend upon and then love Timothy. Like the old adage "love is blind," in The Cay, friendship can also be blind.
I remembered that ugly, welted face. But now, in my memory, it did not seem ugly at all. It seemed only kind and strong.
I asked, "Timothy, are you still black?"
His laughter filled the hut.
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