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The death of Timothy occurs in Chapter 15 of this excellent novel, and, as we read it, we see that Timothy died as a result of protecting Philip from the storm that ravages their island. In particular, he dies from injuries sustained when he ties himself and Philip to the palm tree so that he is facing the brunt of the storm and acting as a shield to save Philip from the violence of the tempest. When the storm passes, it is clear that Timothy is unconscious. After Philip manages to untie them both, he feels Timothy and makes a shocking discovery about the condition of his body:

Timothy had been cut to ribbons by the wind, which drove the rain and tiny grains of sand before it. It had flayed his back and hsi legs until there were very few places that weren't cut. He was bleeding, but there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Philip goes to sleep holding Timothy's hand, and when he awakes, he discovers that Timothy has actually died. We thus see that Timothy died, sacrificing himself for Philip so that he could live.

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In The Cay, comment on Timothy's death.

The chapter in which Timothy dies in this novel is Chapter Fifteen, which is when the storm hits the island, and Timothy ties himself and Phillip to a strong palm tree, with Phillip between Timothy and the palm tree so that Timothy is left to face the brunt of the storm, protecting Phillip. Although Phillip is blind, it is clear that after the storm he becomes aware of how Timothy has sacrificed himself for him. As he feels Timothy's back, he makes a startling discovery:

Timothy had been cut to ribbons by the wind, which drove the rain and tiny grains of sand before it. It had flayed his back and his legs until there were very few places that weren't cut. He was bleeding, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. I found his hard, horny hand again, wrapped mine around it, and lay down beside him.

When Phillip wakes up, he finds that Timothy is dead. Timothy thus clearly gave his life to save Phillip, in spite of the difficulties that Phillip has given him and the kind of racist attitude he has displayed towards Timothy. His death is thus a powerful symbol of self-sacrifice on behalf of someone else who is, at least towards the beginning of the narrative, so unworthy of it.

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How does Timothy die in The Cay?

Timothy dies after being injured and losing consciousness during a storm.

When Phillip first finds himself shipwrecked with Timothy, he is mouthy and irresponsible.  Soon he learns to accept Timothy’s teaching and take responsibility.  During a terrible storm, Timothy ties Phillip to a tree as the waves crash over them.

Timothy uses himself as a shield, placing Phillip between his body and the tree.  The waves are violent, and he is in pain.  When the storm ends, Phillip realizes he is naked.  The storm has torn their clothes off.

Timothy had been cut to ribbons by the wind, which drove the rain and tiny grains of sand before it.  It had flayed his back and his legs until there were very few places that weren’t cut.

Phillip is unable to stop the bleeding, and soon Timothy succumbs to his injuries.  He sacrificed his life to save the boy.  Phillip, more mature now, buries him and sets himself about finding ways to survive and get off the island.

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