Tuck Everlasting

by

Natalie Babbitt

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Jesse is Angus and Mae's younger son. He's 17 and Winnie is immediately attracted to him when she comes across him drinking from the stream in her family's wood. Of all the Tucks, Jesse seems the most relieved to finally share the secret with Winnie. After he, Miles, and Mae tell Winnie their story, he suggests that life should be enjoyed and remarks that he's seen all sorts of things and, because he's immortal, will get to see much more. He behaves as though he reciprocates Winnie's feelings; he shows off for her and gives her a small flask of the brook's water so that when Winnie is 17, she can drink it and join him in enjoying life eternally. He also suggests that he'd like to get married. Mae, however, explains that because of Jesse's youth, he's not able to settle down. He moves around constantly and works all manner of jobs, from bartending to manual labor. Jesse is, according to his parents, very sad when Winnie never drinks the water and joins him.

Jesse Tuck Quotes in Tuck Everlasting

The Tuck Everlasting quotes below are all either spoken by Jesse Tuck or refer to Jesse Tuck. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Square Fish edition of Tuck Everlasting published in 1975.
Chapter Six Quotes

Winnie had often been haunted by visions of what it would be like to be kidnapped. But none of her visions had been like this, with her kidnappers just as alarmed as she was herself. She had always pictured a troupe of burly men with long black moustaches who would tumble her into a blanket and bear her off like a sack of potatoes while she pleaded for mercy. But, instead, it was they, Mae Tuck and Miles and Jesse, who were pleading.

Related Characters: Winnie Foster, Mae Tuck, Miles Tuck, Jesse Tuck
Page Number: 31-32
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eight Quotes

"Just think of all the things we've seen in the world! All the things we're going to see!"

"That kind of talk'll make her want to rush back and drink a gallon of the stuff," warned Miles. "There's a whole lot more to it than Jesse Tuck's good times, you know."

"Oh, stuff," said Jesse with a shrug. "We might as well enjoy it, long as we can't change it. You don't have to be such a parson all the time."

"I'm not being a parson," said Miles. "I just think you ought to take it more serious."

Related Characters: Miles Tuck (speaker), Jesse Tuck (speaker), Winnie Foster, Mae Tuck
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

But she felt there was nothing to be afraid of, not really. For they seemed gentle. Gentle and--in a strange way--childlike. They made her feel old. And the way they spoke to her, the way they looked at her, made her feel special. Important. It was a warm, spreading feeling, entirely new. She liked it, and in spite of their story, she liked them, too--especially Jesse.

Related Characters: Winnie Foster, Mae Tuck, Miles Tuck, Jesse Tuck
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

Closing the gate on her oldest fears as she had closed the gate of her own fenced yard, she discovered the wings she'd always wished she had. And all at once she was elated. Where were the terrors she'd been told she should expect? She could not recognize them anywhere. The sweet earth opened out its wide four corners to her like the petals of a flower ready to be picked, and it shimmered with light and possibility till she was dizzy with it. Her mother's voice, the feel of home, receded for the moment, and her thoughts turned forward. Why, she, too, might live forever in this remarkable world she was only just discovering!

Related Characters: Winnie Foster, Mae Tuck, Miles Tuck, Jesse Tuck
Related Symbols: The Fence
Page Number: 44-45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Ten Quotes

"Jesse, now, he don't ever seem too settled in himself. Course, he's young." She stopped and smiled. "That sounds funny, don't it? Still, it's true, just the same."

Related Characters: Mae Tuck (speaker), Winnie Foster, Jesse Tuck
Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Twenty-Two Quotes

"I mean, what'll they say to you after, when they find out?"

"I don't know," said Winnie, "but it doesn't matter. Tell your father I want to help. I have to help. If it wasn't for me, there wouldn't have been any trouble in the first place."

Related Characters: Winnie Foster (speaker), Jesse Tuck (speaker), Mae Tuck, Angus Tuck, Winnie's Mother, Winnie's Father
Related Symbols: The Fence
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Tuck Everlasting LitChart as a printable PDF.

Jesse Tuck Character Timeline in Tuck Everlasting

The timeline below shows where the character Jesse Tuck appears in Tuck Everlasting. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...are very connected. First, Mae Tuck left for Treegap to meet her sons, Miles and Jesse. Winnie Foster, whose parents own Treegap wood, decided to think about running away, and a... (full context)
Chapter Two
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...as she's looked the exact same way for the last 87 years. Angus, Miles, and Jesse have too. (full context)
Chapter Five
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
...she gets close enough to see, however, her mouth drops open. A handsome young man (Jesse) sits against a huge ash tree, gazing up at the branches. He carefully moves a... (full context)
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Sternly, Jesse asks Winnie what she's doing in the wood. Winnie insists that the wood belongs to... (full context)
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Winnie asks if the water is good to drink, but very seriously and quickly, Jesse says the water is dirty. He begins to put the pebbles back as Winnie insists... (full context)
Chapter Six
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Winnie has thought often about being kidnapped, but this is nothing like what she imagined. Jesse and Miles lift her, put her on the horse, and run on either side of... (full context)
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...people and will bring her back home tomorrow, but this makes Winnie wail even louder. Jesse and Miles remark that this is awful, and Mae says that she never thought that... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...thing can't possibly be too bad. She smiles and hands it back to Mae. Both Jesse and Miles sit down, and Jesse says that they need Winnie's help. (full context)
Chapter Seven
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
What Mae, Jesse, and Miles tell Winnie is the strangest thing she's ever heard. They explain that 87... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Jesse explains that they all went crazy for a while, excited that they'd live forever, but... (full context)
Chapter Eight
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...talk to Winnie also makes her feel very important and special, and she really likes Jesse. (full context)
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
With a whoop of joy, Jesse asks Mae for breakfast. They walk and ride along, eating bread and cheese. Jesse swings... (full context)
Chapter Nine
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter Ten
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...soot in the fireplace. There's a bedroom with a rickety bed and a loft where Jesse and Miles sleep when they're home. (full context)
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
In the loft, Mae explains that Jesse and Miles aren't home much. Winnie asks what they do when they're gone, and Mae... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...Mae this. Mae says that she and Angus have each other, though she notes that Jesse and Miles struggle. Every ten years, they meet at the spring and come home together... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...to cheer Winnie up, Miles offers to take Winnie out on the pond after supper. Jesse insists that he'll take Winnie, but Angus sternly says that he'll take Winnie out himself... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
As Mae makes the sofa into a bed for Winnie, Angus and Jesse discuss the possible motive of the horse thief. Angus has a bad feeling about it... (full context)
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
Not long after Angus leaves, Jesse creeps down the loft stairs and kneels beside the sofa. Wide-eyed, he says that Winnie... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...weeks. Winnie starts to blush when she hears steps on the stairs and thinks that Jesse is coming, but it's Miles. He smiles and invites her to help him catch fish... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...didn't catch anything they wanted to keep. Mae makes flapjacks and is serving them when Jesse comes down from the loft. He's perturbed that there's no fish and good-naturedly insults Miles's... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
...here. She thinks about drinking from the spring when she's 17 as she looks at Jesse, then Miles, and then the sad look on Angus's face. Then, someone knocks at the... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...pay them to perform deadly tasks to demonstrate the water's efficacy. In a dull voice, Jesse says that the man wants them to be freaks. (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...the money, the Tucks could live "like people again, instead of pigs." At this, Angus, Jesse, and Miles shout at the man, who grabs Winnie and roughly shoves her out the... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...Mae and put her in jail, and he needs to take Winnie home. Miles and Jesse promise Mae that they'll get her out, but the constable explains that if the man... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Winnie sits down and closes her eyes. A few minutes later, Jesse interrupts her reverie. Winnie grabs his hand through the fence and asks if they have... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...take her place in the jail cell, make herself look large, and fool the constable. Jesse says it might work and asks what Winnie's family will say. Winnie says that it... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Three
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...lemonade upstairs and sits in her rocking chair, after hiding the bottle of water from Jesse. Winnie rocks in time to the ticking of the grandfather clock in the hallway. After... (full context)
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...her again. Around 11 o'clock, Winnie lies down and thinks of Angus, Mae, Miles, and Jesse. She thinks that they seem helpless and too trusting, and they need her help. She... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Four
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...wanted to, she could sneak out all the time. This makes her feel even guiltier. Jesse is waiting for her at the gate and they run together down to the jailhouse... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...in a heap on the ground. It begins to rain as Mae, Angus, Miles, and Jesse kiss Winnie. Jesse tells her to remember as he hugs her tight. Then, Miles boosts... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Five
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
...off the dog, and races to her room. Winnie grabs the bottle of water that Jesse gave her and carefully pours it over the toad. She holds it for a long... (full context)
Epilogue
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
As Mae and Angus leave town, they discuss that Winnie died and feel sorry for Jesse, even though he knew long ago that Winnie wasn’t coming. They say that there's no... (full context)