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The Cay

The Cay

by Theodore Taylor

Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Some of the women cried at the sight of her, and I saw men, my father included, with tears in their eyes. It didn't seem possible that only a few hours before I had been standing on her deck. I was no longer excited about the war; I had begun to understand that it meant death and destruction. (2.28)

Phillip is no longer excited about the arrival of the German submarines in the Caribbean. Witnessing the explosion of the Empire Tern forces him to realize that war means "death and destruction" – not excitement and games.

Quote #2

I'll never forget that first hour of knowing I was blind. I was so frightened that it was hard for me to breathe. It was as if I'd been put inside something that was all dark and I couldn't get out.

I remember that at one point my fear turned to anger. Anger at Timothy for not letting me stay in the water with my mother, and anger at her because I was on the raft. I began hitting him and I remember him saying, "If dat will make you bettah, go 'ead." (4.64-65)

Phillip is injured when a torpedo hits the S.S. Hato, and he eventually goes blind. The blindness causes a massive change in his life. Here Phillip sees only darkness and becomes angry at those around him. How might the darkness also become a positive force in Phillip's life?

Quote #3

Something happened to me that day on the cay. I'm not quite sure what it was even now, but I had begun to change.

I said to Timothy, "I want to be your friend."

He said softly, "Young bahss, you'ave always been my friend."

I said, "Can you call me Phillip instead of young boss?"
"Phill-eep," he said warmly. (9.27-31)

After Phillip and Timothy fight, Phillip realizes that Timothy is trying to help him. Phillip then accepts Timothy as his friend. Phillip says he doesn't know why he began to change. What do you think is happening inside him?

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