by Theodore Taylor
Character Role Analysis
Violence is everywhere in this novel, whether it be the German submarines torpedoing the lake tankers (Chapter 1), the sharks in the ocean waters (Chapter 6), or the tempest that ravages the cay (Chapter 15). Violence, we learn, comes in both man-made and natural forms. Resisting violence often requires great personal sacrifice, as with Timothy's sheltering of Phillip during the hurricane or the sailors who must man the tankers in the face of German torpedoes.