How we cite our quotes:
"I wanted to [give my children the water], heaven knows. But, Winnie, how'd it have been if I had? My wife was nearly forty by then. And the children—well, what was the use? They'd have been near growed theirselves. They'd have had a pa close to the same age they was. No, it'd all have been so mixed up and peculiar, it just wouldn't have worked." (17.14)
Immortality sure raises a lot of moral issues, doesn't it? Miles had to sacrifice his wife and children in order to protect them from immortality and allow them to lead a normal life—and death.
Winnie thought about this peril to the frogs, and sighed. "It'd be nice," she said, "if nothing ever had to die."
"Well, now, I don't know," said Miles. "If you think on it, you come to see there'd be so many creatures, including people, we'd all be squeezed in right up next to each other before long."
Winnie squinted at her fishing line and tried to picture a teeming world. "Mmm," she said, "yes, I guess you're right." (17.18-20)
Living forever isn't quite as glamorous when you think about how crowded it would be. This is just one small example, but it makes Winnie (and us) realize that immortality would have its downsides.
The one glance she gave him fixed his appearance forever in Winnie's mind. She turned her eyes away quickly, looking to Tuck for relief. But Tuck was not looking back at her. Instead, he was gazing at the body on the ground, leaning forward slightly, his brows drawn down, his mouth a little open. It was as if he were entranced and—yes, envious—like a starving man looking through a window at a banquet. Winnie could not bear to see him like that. (20.12)
Yikes. It's at this moment that Winnie realizes just how tragic Tuck's situation is—he feels so trapped that he envies a man who has just been beaten to a pulp.