Explain Timothy's statement, "D' han' is not blin'" in "The Cay" 

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With his observation, "D' han' is not blin'", Timothy is telling Phillip that even though the boy has temporarily lost his sight, he can still help by working with his hands - his hands are not blind.

Since they have arrived on the island, Timothy has been working feverishly to create a livable environment for himself and Phillip.  He has begun work on a rope, which Phillip will be able to use as a guide to get down to the beach.  Phillip, angry at losing his sight and clinging to a sense that he is too good to work like his Negro counterpart, has been malingering, whining that he can help neither with the rope nor the sleeping mats they need because he can't see.  Timothy chides him gently, pointing out that "D'best matmaker in Charlotte Amalie, downg in Frenchtown, b'total blin'".  Phillip becomes angry and throws a fit, calling Timothy an "ugly black man...(who) can't even spell".  Timothy slaps Phillip then, and returns quietly to his work.  After thinking it over for awhile, Phillip, realizing that Timothy is making the rope for him, is ashamed of his behavior, and tries to reestablish communication with Timothy.  He has no need to explain; Timothy understands that Phillip has thought better of his actions, and unaccusingly returns the weaving for him to complete (Chapter 9).