While Winnie is at home, she's most often sitting just inside her family's wrought-iron fence. She initially conceptualizes of the fence as a prison, trapping her inside and not allowing her to experience the world beyond it. However, when she decides to go for a walk in her family's wood, she discovers that the fence is actually easy to breach. The way that Winnie engages with the fence comes to encapsulate her journey as she begins to come of age and experiment with stepping outside of the careful, contained world of childhood. While her budding maturity means that she craves independence and getting outside of the fence, she recognizes after some time away that the fence also holds comforts, like her mother and her rocking chair, that help her cope with what she sees in the larger, more adult world. Developing this kind of nuanced understanding that the fence is a permeable barrier helps Winnie and the reader realize that coming of age and becoming an adult doesn't happen all at once. Instead, just as Winnie goes back and forth from one side of the fence to the other, children move back and forth between childhood and adulthood as they feel comfortable and ready to do so.
The Fence Quotes in Tuck Everlasting
"I want to be by myself for a change." She leaned her forehead against the bars and after a short silence went on in a thoughtful tone. "I'm not exactly sure what I'd do, you know, but something interesting--something that's all mine. Something that would make some kind of difference in the world."
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!
"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."