Tuck Everlasting

by

Natalie Babbitt

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Miles Tuck Character Analysis

Miles is Angus and Mae's oldest son. He's 22, strong, and he's worked as a carpenter and a blacksmith. In the years after he and his family drank the water, Miles got married and had two children, one of whom was his daughter, Anna. After 20 years of marriage, Miles's wife got suspicious because he never aged and ultimately left him, taking their children and eventually going west. This was heartbreaking for Miles, but he tells Winnie that it would've been "unnatural" for him to find his wife and children and offer them the water, as his children would've been nearly his age by then. He believes that he needs to make a difference in the world, though he's not sure how to go about doing that since he doesn't have an education. He travels around, working where he can and moving often so that nobody suspects that there's anything amiss about him. Miles teaches Winnie to fish on the pond and throws his trout back when she asks him to, though he does try to impress upon her that everything needs to die eventually. After Mae is arrested, Miles uses his carpentry skills to remove the metal window from the jail and get her out.

Miles Tuck Quotes in Tuck Everlasting

The Tuck Everlasting quotes below are all either spoken by Miles Tuck or refer to Miles 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:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter Seventeen Quotes

"It'd be nice," she said, "if nothing ever had to die."

"Well now, I don't know," said Miles. "If you think on it, you come to see there'd be so many creatures, including people, we'd all be squeezed in right up next to each other before long."

Related Characters: Winnie Foster (speaker), Miles Tuck (speaker), Angus Tuck, The Man in the Yellow Suit
Related Symbols: The Boat and the Pond
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Tuck Everlasting LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Miles Tuck Character Timeline in Tuck Everlasting

The timeline below shows where the character Miles 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
...but actually 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,... (full context)
Chapter Two
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...the mirror, 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
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...They hear a crash a little ways away and Jesse calls gratefully for Mae and Miles. They appear in the clearing and Mae looks as though Winnie is the worst thing... (full context)
Chapter Six
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
...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 her while... (full context)
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...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 they'd come... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...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 years ago,... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Though this was worrying enough, even stranger was that none of them were aging. When Miles was about 40, he still looked 22. His wife decided he'd sold his soul to... (full context)
Chapter Eight
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
...he's already seen lots of things and will be able to see so much more. Miles cautions Jesse that talking this way will make Winnie want to drink, but Jesse says... (full context)
Chapter Nine
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Winnie is exhausted long before noon. Miles carries her for a while and she sleeps in his arms while wearing Mae's sunhat... (full context)
Chapter Ten
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...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 says they... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...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 so they... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...after Winnie promises to keep the stream a secret. To try to cheer Winnie up, Miles offers to take Winnie out on the pond after supper. Jesse insists that he'll take... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...know until after that it's a horrible fate. Winnie feels numb and watches the water. Miles interrupts her reverie and yells that someone stole the horse. (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...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 for breakfast. Winnie steps carefully... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
Miles steers the boat to some lily pads and baits the hooks. Winnie studies Miles, whose... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Miles hands Winnie her pole and she lets the hook down into the water. She remarks... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
Winnie slaps at a mosquito that lands on her knee and thinks that Miles is right; it'd be awful if mosquitos lived forever. She decides she's going to keep... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
Winnie reaches out and touches a lily pad. Then, Miles catches a trout and pulls it up into the boat. It's simultaneously beautiful and horrifying,... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
When Miles and Winnie return to the house, Miles tells Mae that they didn't catch anything they... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
...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 door. The... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...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 door. Winnie... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...to take 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... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
...fence and asks if they have a plan to get Mae out. Jesse whispers that Miles is planning to use his carpentry skills to remove the window in the jail cell... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Three
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...ever trust 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... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Four
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
At the back of the jailhouse, Angus hugs Winnie  tightly and Miles squeezes her hand before they all creep to the window. Winnie repeats a poem over... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...and lands 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,... (full context)