Tuck Everlasting

by

Natalie Babbitt

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Tuck Everlasting can help.

The Boat and the Pond Symbol Analysis

The Boat and the Pond Symbol Icon

During Winnie's stay with the Tucks, Angus takes her out on the pond in his rowboat. The pond is fed by a small river on one side and empties via another river on the other side. Angus allows the boat to get stuck in some roots and weeds on the downstream side of the river, and he suggests that the boat's relationship to the water is symbolic of the Tucks' place in the world. Because the Tucks can’t die, they'll never complete the cycle of life, which Tuck explains to Winnie by telling her about the water cycle. The Tucks, like the boat, will remain stuck forever, even as the rest of the world, as represented by the water, continues to move and change.

The Boat and the Pond Quotes in Tuck Everlasting

The Tuck Everlasting quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Boat and the Pond. 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 Twelve Quotes

"Life. Moving, growing, changing, never the same two minutes together. This water, you look out at it every morning, and it looks the same, but it ain't. All night long it's been moving, coming in through the stream back there to the west, slipping out through the stream down east here, always quiet, always new, moving on."

Related Characters: Angus Tuck (speaker), Winnie Foster
Related Symbols: The Boat and the Pond
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Winnie blinked, and all at once her mind was drowned with understanding of what he was saying. For she--yes, even she--would go out of the world willy-nilly someday. Just go out, like the flame of a candle, and no use protesting. It was a certainty. She would try very hard not to think of it, but sometimes, as now, it would be forced upon her. She raged against it, helpless and insulted, and blurted at last, "I don't want to die."

Related Characters: Winnie Foster (speaker), Angus Tuck
Related Symbols: The Boat and the Pond
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"If I knowed how to climb back on the wheel, I'd do it in a minute. You can't have living without dying. So you can't call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road."

Related Characters: Angus Tuck (speaker), Winnie Foster
Related Symbols: The Boat and the Pond
Page Number: 63
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
Chapter Twenty-One Quotes

"You mean, if he dies," Winnie had said, flatly, and they had sat back, shocked. Soon after, they put her to bed, with many kisses. But they peered at her anxiously over their shoulders as they tiptoed out of her bedroom, as if they sensed that she was different now from what she had been before. As if some part of her had slipped away.

Related Symbols: The Boat and the Pond
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Tuck Everlasting LitChart as a printable PDF.
Tuck everlasting.pdf.medium

The Boat and the Pond Symbol Timeline in Tuck Everlasting

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Boat and the Pond appears in Tuck Everlasting. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Nine
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...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. (full context)
Chapter Ten
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
...bowls of daisies and the sound of the wildlife that lives in and around the pond filters through as well. Winnie is amazed that people live like this, but she finds... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...secret. To try 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... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
Childhood, Independence, and Maturity Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
As Winnie follows Angus to the pond, she feels brave again with the thought that the man in the yellow suit might... (full context)
The Purpose of Living Theme Icon
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
...and it's always supposed to grow and change. They reach the far side of the pond and the boat bumps into some weeds and branches. Winnie watches the water continue past... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Nature and the Cycle of Life Theme Icon
Morality, Choices, and Friendship Theme Icon
...and invites her to help him catch fish for breakfast. Winnie steps carefully into the boat, accepts the fishing poles and bait, and notices frogs and fish in the water. She... (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 face is thinner... (full context)