by Natalie Babbitt
Tuck Everlasting Introduction
In A Nutshell
Get ready for some heavy lifting, Shmoopers. Tuck Everlasting hits on two of the most talked about topics in literature: life and death. Just to give you a little taste, we're going to let you in on some of the tough questions that this 1975 smash-hit asks us to think about:
- Would life be better if it were eternal?
- What does it mean to really live?
- Is it wrong to want to live forever?
- Would immortality take away from the everyday joys of life?
- Is it okay to question our fate?
- Is it better to have loved and lost, or never to have loved at all?
We told you it wouldn't be easy. But it's totally worth it.
You don't have to take our word for it either. When asked which of her books she would most want someone to read, Natalie Babbitt went with Tuck Everlasting (source). Why? For the same reasons as Shmoop. Go figure.
Why Should I Care?
If Shmoop were immortal, here's what we'd do:
- Swim with great white sharks
- Climb Half Dome without ropes
- Go base jumping in a squirrel suit
- Befriend a family of polar bears in Antarctica
- Become snake-charmers
- Iron Man our way into another universe
(Don't try these at home. Or anywhere else for that matter.)
We spend a lot of time thinking about what life would be like if we were immortal, but would eternal life really be all it's cracked up to be? According to Tuck, not so much. In fact, he thinks that "'You can't have living without dying'" (12.10). He'd probably say that, if you could live forever, none of those awesome activities we want to do would be once-in-a-lifetime. And isn't that part of the fun? Seriously, we're asking.