by Natalie Babbitt
Tuck Everlasting Theme of Death
In a book about living forever, it's not surprising that death gets a lot of screen time. It's not easy to think about death—we at Shmoop don't even like squishing that bug that's always crawling around our desks. But Tuck Everlasting gets us to take a step back and think about what it would mean if we never died. Would that be just as scary? Or possibly even worse? It's up to you to form your own opinion, but this novel Shmoops us toward grappling with the tough stuff.
Questions About Death
- What is the Tucks' attitude to mortality? Do you think it changes as the years pass? How does Winnie feel about death at the beginning of the novel? At the end?
- Why do you think Winnie chose to pass up the spring water and accept her life as a regular ol' mortal?
- Do you think the narrator expresses an opinion about the necessity of death? If so, what is that opinion? If not, why not?
- What would you do if you were in Winnie's position? Would you drink the water? Why or why not?
Chew on This
Winnie was right to pass up the immortality juice—we can tell from the Tucks' experience that it's not the way to go.
Winnie would have drunk the spring water if she hadn't seen the look in Tuck's eyes as he was watching the man in the yellow suit die. That just pushed her over the edge.