Discussion Topic

Phillip's evolving feelings throughout The Cay

Summary:

Phillip's feelings evolve significantly throughout The Cay. Initially, he harbors prejudice and distrust towards Timothy due to his upbringing. However, as they struggle for survival, Phillip learns to see beyond racial differences, developing deep respect, trust, and friendship. By the end, Phillip's perspective on race and human connection is profoundly transformed.

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How did Phillip feel about his mother at the end of Chapter 3 in The Cay?

In Chapter 3, Phillip found himself on a raft with a black man named Timothy after the boat had been hit by a torpedo.  At the beginning of the chapter, Phillip missed his mother and wondered where she might be.  Timothy tried to reassure and comfort him.  As Phillip spent more time with Timothy on the raft, he started to believe that his mother was right about black people.  She often stated they were different than him.  At the end of the chapter, Timothy started to resent his mother.  He blamed her for the fact that he was alone on a raft with Timothy.  

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How does Phillip feel at the end of Chapter 7 in The Cay?

Theodore Taylor's The Cay is a survival story of a young boy and an old man. In Chapter 7, Phillip and Timothy have reached an island. Phillip's mood is constantly shifting throughout this chapter. At first, he feels relieved to be on land once again, but he worries when Timothy insists on making camp and avoids telling Phillip where he thinks they are. Eventually, he reveals that they are likely in a part of the ocean called "The Devil's Mouth," so named because ships cannot safely navigate through the hidden reefs. This means they have only a small chance of rescue. Timothy suggests that planes will go by and that they could attempt to signal to one. Phillip, always realistic, worries that any planes will just think that they are native fishermen and pass on by. At the very end of the chapter, Phillip is deep in thought as he drinks his half-cup of water, likely wondering how and when they may ever be rescued from the island.
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How does Phillip feel at the end of Chapter 7 in The Cay?

Timothy and Phillip reach land at the beginning of Chapter 7 and, although Phillip had not been in favor of leaving the boat,

... I was almost glad that we wouldn't have to spend another night on the hard, wet boards of the raft.  (Chapter 7)

While Timothy assures Phillip that " 'Tis a beautiful cay," Phillip still feels "discouraged" because the island is uninhabited. He also begins to understand that Timothy may have exaggerated the possibility of being rescued there. Because of its remote nature and treacherous reefs, few ships passed that way. 

I kept feeling that Timothy was holding something back from me.  (Chapter 7)

Left alone while Timothy explored the island, Phillip felt "helpless" and, later he "harshly" ordered Timothy to never leave him again. Now fearing that they may never be rescued, Phillip felt "trapped." Things "sounded bad," but Timothy left him with a bit of hope.

"... we cannot fret 'bout it, can we? We'll make camp an' see what happens."  (Chapter 7

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