Winnie 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.

In 'Tuck Everlasting' by Natalie Babbitt, Winnie Foster, the protagonist, is the only character that has a choice in this story about whether or not she wants eternal life. In this lesson, we will learn more about Winnie and her big decision.

Overprotected Twelve Year Old

In Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, the protagonist, Winnie Foster is an overprotected, 12 year old girl who has seen very little of the world. When she meets the Tuck family, she is overwhelmed with how different they are from the Foster family. Being the only person that knows their secret to eternal life, the Tucks instantly connect to Winnie and hope that she will decide to be part of their family. Let's learn more about Winnie.

Winnie Yearns to Escape

Have you ever felt like running away from your life? When we first meet Winnie Foster, she is at the end of her rope. As the only child in a house with two parents and a grandmother, she feels oppressed. Everyone has way too much time to look at her and fuss over her. She can't get a minute to herself. Someone is always calling her name and nagging her about getting dirty or some other silly thing.

She complains to the frog on the other side of the fence, 'Do you know they've hardly ever let me out of this yard all by myself? I'll never be able to do anything important if I stay in here like this. I expect I'd better run away.' By the next day, she is too afraid to run away but decides that she will embark on an adventure by going into the woods next to her home for the very first time. Although Winnie needs to stretch her wings, she is practical enough to know that running away with no place to go is not a good idea.

Winnie Meets the Tucks

Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? When Winnie first sees Jesse Tuck, 'she lost her heart at once.' This is an unusual event for Winnie, who tends to be pragmatic. She is shocked and confused when in order to prevent her from drinking from the very same spring that she saw Jesse drink from, his family kidnaps her. Could you ever forgive someone who took you against your will?

When the Tucks explain that the spring gave them eternal life, Winnie does not believe them. She dismisses them as crazy criminals. But it isn't long before the Tuck's love and empathy takes hold of Winnie's heart strings. By the time the constable arrives to arrest them, Winnie stands up for the Tucks and tells the constable that she came with them by choice. Winnie prioritizes the way the Tucks make her feel over their eccentricities, making her fiercely loyal to them.

Winnie Says Goodbye to the Tucks

After Winnie is returned home, she has a new appreciation for her family but still feels an allegiance to the Tucks. Jesse visits her bedroom window in the middle of the night.He gives Winnie a bottle of water from the spring and asks her to drink it when she turns seventeen. Jesse wants Winnie to marry him and spend the rest of their lives together.

Winnie ponders, 'When she was seventeen--would she drink the water? If it was true, would she? And if she did, would she be sorry afterwards?' From what you've learned about Winnie's sensibility, would you expect her to drink from the bottle?

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