Headscratchers: The Cay

  • This had always bugged me: What exactly sunk the ship at the beginning of the book? And if a mast crashed onto your head, wouldn't it kill you? Philip just went blind because of it. WTF?
    • The ship was torpedoed by the Germans. Head injuries can cause all sorts of trauma; Phillip must have had damage to his occipital lobe.
      • Um, what? Explain, plz.
      • In short, damage to different areas of the brain can cause different kinds of damage, and though a blow like that is often fatal, it's by no means a certainty. Phillip probably had damage to the area of his brain that affects eyesight/vision (the occipital lobe), but did not sustain any other serious brain damage, so he survived, but was blinded.
  • In the sequel, Timothy of The Cay, where on earth did they get clothes that fit an 11/12-year-old boy? Did he just walk around wearing an extra sailor uniform or something?
    • Probably.
  • Okay, help me with this: How old is Timothy? It's revealed through dialogue that he called Phillip "Young Bhass" as a carryover from his slave years, yet slavery ended in 1865 and the book is in 1941. Shouldn't Timothy have been dead long before Phillip was even born?
    • He doesn't live in America, he lives in a different country.