Who are the characters from "The Cay?"  

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Concepcion Cobbs eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Cay is somewhat unique among novels in that it really spends time developing only two characters. The first character, Phillip Enright Jr., is an eleven-year-old boy who is shipwrecked on his way home. He was living on the island of Curacao with his mother. However, German submarines attacking the island ultimately cause him to get on the ship that eventually is also torpedoed.

Phillip ends up on a raft searching for a safe landing place with Timothy. Timothy is much older than Phillip and at first, Phillip doesn't like him. We can see this by the words that Phillip uses to describe Timothy. He says that he "looks pure African" and constantly comments on his perceived ugliness. In contrast to this, Timothy is kind to Phillip.

If the novel is thought of in terms of exploring Phillip's growth, then Timothy is the main catalyst for that growth. He teaches him how to survive after being shipwrecked and helps Phillip gain the insight about himself and about life that he needs to mature.

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the novel "The Cay," there are several characters but the only characters that we get to know very well are Phillip Enright Jr, an eleven year-old boy.  The other main character is Timothy, a elderly black man who helps Phillip when their ship is sunk by the German's.  They land on the cay (island) and Timothy teaches Phillip how to survive. 

The story also mentions Phillips mother, father and one of Phillips friends.  These characters are not fully developed although we do get a sense of Phillips father being brave and patriotic.  His mother is a negative frightened woman who complains constantly.

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ik9744 | Student

The characters in the book that I can recall are, Timothy, Timothy's mother, Phillip, and Phillip close friends/parents.

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