Tuck Everlasting

by

Natalie Babbitt

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Tuck Everlasting: Chapter Nine Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Winnie is exhausted long before noon. Miles carries her for a while and she sleeps in his arms while wearing Mae's sunhat to keep her from getting too burnt. The landscape is dry and motionless except for the bees and the crickets. Eventually, in the afternoon, Mae says that they're almost there. They reach some dark pines and Jesse and Miles whoop and run through the trees. Mae and Winnie follow slowly as the horse picks its way along a rutted path. When they reach the other side, Winnie peers around Mae and sees a pond with a house and barn next to it. They hear Miles and Jesse jump in.
Being carried by Miles like this returns Winnie to a clearly childish state, reminding the reader again that as Winnie continues to grow, she'll bounce back and forth between childhood and maturity depending on the situation. The narrator's description of the landscape again re-centers the narrative on the relationship between humans and nature, and the stillness of the land suggests that Winnie too is currently in a pause in her development.
Themes
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
When Mae and Winnie reach the house, Angus is there and demands to see the "real, honest-to-goodness, natural child." Winnie feels shy, but he smiles and gently lifts her down off the horse. He says that he's happy to meet her, and that her visit is the best thing that's happened in 87 years. Angus shakes Winnie's hand and gives her an expression that makes Winnie feel like she's a gift to him.
Remember that Angus hasn't been around "real" children in decades, probably since Miles's children left. Winnie's arrival reminds Angus that life does go on in the outside world, even if his own life is at a standstill due to his immortality. For him, Winnie is truly a symbol of life and its potential to grow and flourish, and her presence reminds him of the importance of forming genuine connections with other people.
Themes
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon