Tuck Everlasting

by

Natalie Babbitt

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Tuck Everlasting: Chapter Two Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mae wakes up at dawn on the first day of the first week of August and remarks that the boys will be home. Angus, Mae's husband, doesn't respond; he's fast asleep and in this state, the sad lines on his face are relaxed and he smiles. Mae wakes him and Angus's smile vanishes. He sighs that he was dreaming again of being in heaven, but Mae tells him that the dream won't change anything and he should be accustomed to things by now. She announces that she's going to ride to Treegap to meet Jesse and Miles and when Angus expresses concern, she insists that nobody will remember her since it's been ten years since she was last there. Angus goes back to sleep.
For most people, dreaming of being in heaven--that is, dreaming of being dead in a Christian sense--wouldn't necessarily be such a great thing, as most people aren't looking forward to dying. Angus's happiness with the dream, combined with Mae's mysterious chiding that the dream won't change anything, suggests that there's something strange with the Tucks, and that they don't look at life and death the same way that other people might.
Themes
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Mae dresses and as she pulls on a shawl, Angus sleepily says it's too warm for it. Mae ignores this and asks if Angus will be okay until she gets back. Opening his eyes, Angus asks what could happen to him and says he can never forget. He rolls over and goes back to sleep. Mae pulls on her boots, takes out a small music box and puts it in her pocket, and coils up her long hair without looking in the mirror. The narrator says that Mae no longer has to look in the mirror, as she's looked the exact same way for the last 87 years. Angus, Miles, and Jesse have too.
When the reader learns that the Tucks are immortal, Angus's dream makes more sense. It now shows that Angus, on some level, wants to die and doesn't think living forever is all that great. With this, the novel introduces the possibility that the only way someone can truly learn to appreciate one's mortality is by being denied that mortality.
Themes
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon