The Cay Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Cay

Phillip tried to escape the island because the German U-boats were harassing the town's occupants. On his escape by ship, they were torpedoed. Phillip was knocked out and when he woke, he was floating on a piece of debris from the ship. It took him awhile to notice the other man on the ‘raft'. He was a big, ugly back man named Timothy. The main plot starts there with Phillip insulting Timothy.
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They find a deserted island on which they try to survive and thereby breaking down their differences and become friends. Timothy then saves Phillips life at the cost of his own during a huge tropical storm. Phillip distraught over his lost friend, at first lost all hope but then remembered all that Timothy had done for him so he could survive. Phillip was finally rescued by soldiers that saw his signal fire.
The review of this Book prepared by Patrick Bourke

When young Phillip is blinded from a blow to the head, it is old, ugly Timothy who pulls him onto the raft and keeps him from drowning. Timothy's understanding and wisdom are severely tested as Phillip's immaturity and prejudiced thinking jeopardize their very survival. Phillip eventually comes to understand the depth of Timothy's friendship, but it is too late to thank him. After a deadly hurricane pummels the island, Phillip finds himself entirely alone, except for the ship's cat.
The review of this Book prepared by Betsy

This is a compelling story about a boy named Phillip who is from the island Curacao. When the war comes to the carribbean islands, Phillip and his mother are forced to flee the island. Phillip gets shipwrecked, however, with a black man named Timothy.
He is then forced to learn to trust this strange man with his life.
The review of this Book prepared by Grainne Harnett

This is a story of a young boy named Phillip. All his life he was taught to look down on black-skinned people. When he is shipwrecked with a West Indian man named Timothy on a barren little island, he must learn to trust this man. To make matters worse, Phillip is left blind from a crack on the head.
The review of this Book prepared by Laura J. Miller

Chapter Analysis of The Cay

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   racism!!!! Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Age 11-14 Exploring into the wild    -   Yes kind of story    -   water adventure Brain/Body disability?    -   physical disability

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid Unusual characteristics:    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   food/shelter preoccupation    -   stranded    -   Caribbean Islands    -   Pacific Islands

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Cay

Theodore Taylor Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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