The Cay

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Literary Essay
The Cay By: Theodore Taylor
Since the book is set In the 1940's during WWII, Americans views on black people are often small-minded stereo typical. This no exception with the main character Phillip who is an 11-year-old white boy, living on the Dutch controlled Island of Curaçao. Phillips family was originally from Virginia but they moved to Curaçao because Phillip's dad (also named Phillip) got transferred to work for the island's oil industry. When German U-boats start sinking oil freighters coming from Curaçao, in route to fuel the allied war effort in North Africa. Phillips mother gets scared that the Germans will invade Curaçao. She decides Phillip and her are going to move back to Virginia via boat, because she is afraid of airplanes. Phillip does not want to leave he says this to his mother about leaving the island “Suddenly, I felt hollow inside. Then I became angry and accused her of being a cowerd, she told me to go off to school. I said I hated her.” (Pg.34) His mom wins the fight hough and they board on the S.S Hato. There boat gets torpedoed 1 day after setting sail, and Phillip wakes up on a raft with a 70-year-old black Caribbean man named Timothy and a cat named Stew. While on the raft Phillip reveals that he has picked up negative ideas about black West Indians from his mother. This is why doesn't she want her son to associate with the black people in Willemstad. Here is the quote from the book '"Although I hadn't thought so before, I was now beginning to believe that my mother was right.”(Pg.59) She didn't like them. She didn't like it when Henrick and I would go down to St. Anna Bay and play near the schooners. But it was always fun. The black people would laugh at us and toss us bananas or papayas. Phillip still dislikes Timothy until one day on the raft Phillip wakes up and he is blind. After this Phillip has to rely on Timothy since he is now blind. After several more days after Phillip has gone blind their raft drifts by...
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