How has Phillip's racial view changed while spending time with Timothy on the cay?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    Phillip comes from a family that is not particularly tolerant of blacks in the Theodore Taylor novel, The Cay. Phillip's mother hails from Virginia, a state still mindful of Old South traditions in the 1940s, and she has instilled in Phillip a fear and mistrust of Negroes. When he first observes Timothy, Phillip describes him as "ugly," with a "flat" nose and "a mass of wiry gray hair." Phillip talks to Timothy in a condescending manner and calls him "stupid" when he realizes the West Indian cannot spell. 
    But Phillip's attitude has changed drastically by the end of the story. He realizes that Timothy has kept him alive, protected him, fed him, and prepared him for his future without sight. In the end, Timothy shelters him against the storm and give his life for his "young bahss." When Phillip returns to Willemstad, he no longer desires the company of his old friends; instead,

... I spent a lot of time along St. Anna Bay, and at the Ruyterkade market talking to the black people. I liked the sound of their voices. Some of them had known old Timothy from Charlotte Amalie. I felt close to them.