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The Cay

The Cay

by Theodore Taylor

Man and the Natural World Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness of the sea, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night. (1.1)

The novel begins with this image of the German subs preying on the islands. Why does Taylor compare the German submarines to sharks? How does this comparison influence the way you think of the Germans during World War II?

Quote #2

Standing on the sea wall at Willemstad, sometimes I'd see their fins in the water. I'd also seen them on the dock at the Ruyterkade market, their mouth open and those sharp teeth grinning. (5.26)

Sharks are a natural predator in the ocean and make several appearances in the book. What other predators does Phillip encounter?

Quote #3

His eyes were becoming mine. "What's in the sky, Timothy?"

"In the sky?" He searchd it. "no clouds, young bahss, jus' blue like 'tawas yestiddy. But now an' den, I see a petrel. While ago, a booby…"

I laughed for the first time all day. It was a funny name for a bird. "A booby?"

Timothy was quite serious. "Dis booby I saw was a blue face, mebbe nestin' out o' Serranilla Bank, mebbe not. Dey be feedin' on d'flyin' feesh. I true watching' d'birds 'cause dey tell us we veree close to d'shore." (5.35-38)

Timothy is Phillip's link to his surroundings and the natural world. Timothy's sight becomes Phillip's. How does Timothy treat the natural world? Are birds a help to him? In what way?

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