In The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Phillip assumes that his father and other men in boats are searching for him, but what does he fail to understand?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Philip is sure his father and others are looking for him, but what he fails to understand is that the cay he and Timothy ended up on is way back in what Timothy calls "The Devil's Mouth," an area that is very difficult to navigate near. There are some hidden-away tiny islands. Timothy tells Phillip,

"Young bahss, dere is, in dis part of d'sea, a few lil' cays like dis one, surround on bot' sides by hombug banks. Dey are cut off from d'res o' d'sea by dese banks" (Taylor 61).

Philip realizes that Timothy is telling him the islands are disguised by the large coral reefs around them.

In addition, a war is going on with German submarines in the water. This also makes it difficult for a search party. The Nazis have already blown up the ship Phillip and Timothy were on, filled with civilians. What would stop them from doing the same to a group of people searching for survivors? It is a dangerous situation for all.