In Theodor Taylor's The Cay, how do Phillip's characteristics change throughout the story based on his experiences? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Young Phillip Enright, the eleven-year-old Caucasian American son of an oil company executive and his wife, is living on the Caribbean island of Curacao, in what used to be called the West Indies.  Populated primarily by blacks, the privileged white family sets itself apart from the laborers who perform all of the hard work around the island. Phillip, as it will be revealed in Chapter Three of Theodore Taylor’s The Cay, has been raised to view blacks as inferior, and his mother looks askance at any interaction between her son and the island’s native population. When Phillip finds himself stranded aboard a life boat after the ship ferrying him and his mother back to America is sunk, his only companion, other than a cat, is Timothy, a large black whose appearance is visibly unsettling to the boy, despite Timothy’s kindness:

“I felt seasick and crawled to the side to vomit. He came up beside me, holding my head in his great clamshell hands. It didn't matter, at that moment, that he...

(The entire section contains 789 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team