Jesse in Tuck Everlasting

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Jesse Tuck is the youngest member of the never-aging Tuck family. He is fun, curious, and energetic, but also lonely. In this lesson, we will learn more about Jesse Tuck from ''Tuck Everlasting'' by Natalie Babbitt.

Peter Pan Syndrome

Do you know someone with boyish charm who manages to find adventure in everyday things? Jesse Tuck is the 17-year-old son of Mae and Angus Tuck. He is technically 104 years old. 87 years ago, his family and their horse inadvertently drank from a spring that froze them in time and gave them everlasting life. Working odd jobs in saloons or fields, Jesse tries to save money to help support his parents. Let's learn more about Jesse Tuck in Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

Jesse Meets Winnie

Every ten years, during the first week of August, Jesse and his brother, Miles, both go home to visit their parents so the whole family is together at the same time. While on his way home, the protagonist, Winnie Foster, sees Jesse drinking from the spring. She is immediately smitten with this beautiful, young boy. 'He was thin and sunburned, this wonderful boy, with a thick mop of curly brown hair, and he wore his battered trousers and loose, grubby shirt with as much self-assurance as if they were silk and satin.' Winnie thinks there is an aura of sunshine around him.

Jesse Worries About Winnie

When he first notices Winnie, Jesse is immediately suspicious. He softens when he realizes that she is one of the Fosters. Jesse relaxes and becomes friendly with Winnie until she announces that she wants to drink from the spring. Jesse stiffens because he wants to save her the same fate his family has had to endure, but he can't explain why he won't allow her to drink the water. When the Tuck family panics and kidnaps Winnie, Jesse worries over her, saying, 'Can't you do something, Ma? The poor little tad.'

The Tucks explain their story to Winnie and how they first discovered their gift (or curse). It happened when Jesse fell out of a tree and onto his head, 'We thought for sure he'd broke his neck. But come to find out, it didn't hurt him a bit!' exclaims Mae.

Jesse's Cure for Loneliness

Once Winnie is more comfortable, Jesse expresses how excited he is to have a visitor and to be able to share the family secret with someone. He argues with Miles about spending time with Winnie. Never aging has become a lonely existence for the Tucks who were ostracized from a community that believed that black magic must be responsible for their youthfulness.

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