Mae Tuck 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.

Mae Tuck, the mother of the Tuck family, tends to use her heart instead of her head in an attempt to keep her family safe and together. In this lesson, we will learn more about Mae Tuck in 'Tuck Everlasting' by Natalie Babbitt.

Maternal Mae

When you picture the perfect mother, what do you see? Mae Tuck is the lovable, protective mother in the Tuck family. She isn't exactly happy that their family has not aged in 87 years, but she knows there is nothing she can do about it, so she just makes the best of things. Let's learn more about Mae Tuck in Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

Mae Loves People, Not Things

Mae does not care much for material things. She is content to wear her old, worn-out clothes and doesn't even look at herself in the mirror anymore. She has only one prized possession, ''a little square-shaped object, a music box painted with roses and lilies of the valley. It was the one pretty thing she owned and she never went anywhere without it.''

She really cares most about her family. At one point in time, she also had a lot of friends, but after she stopped aging, her friends alienated her, thinking she was involved in witchcraft. Everything Mae does is from love, but she doesn't always make logical decisions.

Mae Cares for Winnie

When Mae discovers that the protagonist, Winnie Foster, has discovered their secret, Mae kidnaps Winnie without thinking. Mae begs Winnie not to be afraid. ''We're not bad people, truly we're not. We had to bring you away -- you'll see why in a minute -- and we'll take you back just as soon as we can. Tomorrow. I promise.'' Using the music box to soothe herself, she is also able to comfort Winnie and explain her knee-jerk reaction.

Mae is a terrible housekeeper, but her home feels comfortable. Even though she is shocked by its appearance, Winnie feels cared for there. Mae, like the other Tucks, are excited to have a guest and grow to love Winnie almost instantly. ''I guess we don't know how to do with visitors. But still and all, it's a good feeling, you being here with us. I wish you was ... ours,'' Mae tells Winnie.

Mae Protects Winnie

When the stranger arrives and threatens to take Winnie and force all of them to help him sell the spring water that gave the Tucks eternal life, Mae once again acts without thinking. She hits the stranger on the head with the butt of her rifle and kills him. ''He was taking the child against her will,'' Mae tries to explain to the arresting constable.

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