Tuck Everlasting


Natalie Babbitt

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Themes and Colors
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
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Tuck Everlasting, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

The Purpose of Living

Tuck Everlasting introduces 10-year-old Winnie Foster, a wealthy and sheltered girl, as she tries to decide whether or not to run away from home to escape the constant, overbearing supervision of her parents and grandmother. However, after witnessing young Jesse Tuck drinking out of a brook in her family's wood, Winnie is promptly whisked away by the Tuck family, who tell her, puzzlingly, that they can live forever--the four members of the family, Mae

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Childhood, Independence, and Maturity

Tuck Everlasting introduces Winnie at the very beginning of puberty. She's still a child, but she also shows glimmers of maturity and the desire to explore the world, both of which the novel suggests are necessary precursors to coming of age. By illustrating how Winnie begins to come of age, Tuck Everlasting suggests that the process of reaching maturity is one that begins when a young person begins to understand complex realities and experiment with…

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Nature and the Cycle of Life

The narrator of Tuck Everlasting is keenly interested in the natural world; the narration frequently mentions the weather, the animals, and the plants that inhabit Treegap and the surrounding countryside. While the narrator's observations primarily function to illustrate the splendor of the natural world, Angus Tuck takes this appreciation one step further by encouraging Winnie and the reader to see the natural world as a metaphor for the cycles of life. By engaging with this…

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Morality, Choices, and Friendship

In Tuck Everlasting, Winnie is confronted with a number of choices that would be high-stakes choices for anyone, let alone for a 10-year-old like Winnie. As Winnie thinks over her choices and considers the moral implications of all her options, she begins to understand that morality isn't entirely black and white; nothing is unequivocally good or bad. However, Winnie does come to the conclusion that when she makes decisions that are based on friendship…

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