Thoughts on a Classic-Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

tuck-everlasting

Beware, there are spoilers ahead!

I decided to re-read Tuck Everlasting because the story held a special sort of magic for me when I was young. As I read it as an adult, I was able to appreciate the story more. I was also able to better understand the messages that the author was trying to convey to the reader.

One of the big questions in the story is whether or not having eternal life would be desirable or undesirable. I feel that the type of eternal life presented in the book (one where a person would live forever, lose the ability to change and be stuck at a certain age) would not be desirable, at least not for me. I think that aging is a privilege and that the author was trying to convey that life loses it’s meaning without it. We only have a short amount of time to live our lives and although it may sound cliche, I ascribe to the idea that life’s moments are more precious because they are limited. However, I do feel that being stuck in one’s twenties or early teens might be exciting at first, but would probably grow boring over hundreds of years.

One of the questions that I had while reading the story was about whether or not the Tucks were able to learn or were their brains stuck as well. This isn’t addressed directly in the story, but by judging by the behavior of Jesse, it would seem that at least the maturity level of a person who drinks from the spring, is arrested as well. I think that not being able to learn anymore would be a horrible fate for anyone.

I thought that the author did an excellent job of explaining why the type of eternal life that she describes would not be desirable. She speaks about how individuals would feel if they had eternal life and the societal implications as well. She makes it clear that once people knew about the spring, they would find a way to monetize it.

I really enjoyed re-reading this story. I especially liked the dialogue, the poignancy of the novel, and the idea that making the right choices in life is often difficult. I also liked the relationship that Winnie developed with the Tucks. I thought it was interesting that she didn’t spend a great deal of time with them and yet she was able to develop a deep love for them. Overall, this book was an excellent read.