The ending of the Theodore Taylor novel, The Cay, is certainly a hopeful one. Despite the death of Timothy, his life has served as an example for Phillip, who has spent most of his young life wary of black men. Phillip grows to respect and love Timothy, and he manages to survive alone on the cay without him thanks to the lessons he has learned. It becomes a happy ending in more ways than one: Phillip is rescued, and he regains his sight after several operations. Through his experiences with Timothy, he also has a new love of both geography and the black natives of Curacao. He yearns to spend more time with them and learn about their lives, and in so doing, he occasionally meets people who knew Timothy. In this way, Timothy's memory is kept alive and well.