Tuck Everlasting Chapter 23 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

In chapter 23 of ''Tuck Everlasting'' by Natalie Babbitt, Winnie considers the plan to help Mae escape from jail and whether or not she should spend eternity with Jesse.

Mae's Escape Plan

When ten-year-old Winnie Foster first met the Tuck family, she had her doubts about whether or not they were telling the truth about themselves. After all, they claimed to have drunk from a spring of water that gave them eternal life. Although Winnie thought there was a good chance they were insane, she grew to love them and wanted to protect them if she could.

When a stranger tries to take Winnie away from the Tucks, Mae, the mother of the Tuck family, protects Winnie by hitting him with a rifle butt, killing him. She is arrested and will be hanged if Winnie and the other Tucks don't do something to stop it. Jesse visits Winnie outside her bedroom window and they decide that Miles will remove the frame from the jail window to get Mae out. Winnie will take her place to give the Tucks time to get away before the constable realizes Mae has escaped.

Jesse gives Winnie a bottle of the spring water, which he asks her to drink when she is 17 years old so they can be together forever. In chapter 23 of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, we explore Winnie's thoughts and feelings as she considers all of the things that are happening.

Anxious

Think about a time when the seconds seemed to drag by while you were waiting to do something exciting. That's exactly how Winnie feels as she takes in all the sights and sounds around her while she thinks things through. Time seems to move slowly, and the air seems thick around her. Winnie realizes that 'it's almost over.' As she waits the next three hours before it is time to meet the Tucks to help Mae escape, Winnie feels both excited and guilty.

Trust

If you were Winnie, would you betray your family's trust by helping Mae escape? Winnie knows that her family will be upset with her for taking part in breaking Mae out of jail, but has already planned her excuse. She would remind them that they never told her, 'Now, remember, Winifred--don't bite your fingernails, don't interrupt when someone else is speaking, and don't go down to the jailhouse at midnight to change places with prisoners.' Still, Winnie feels badly about damaging her relationship with her parents after the constable brought her home for a second time this week. Despite her uneasiness, Winnie feels that the Tucks are vulnerable and need her help. She knows she will do anything she can for them.

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