Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.

I remember reading Tuck Everlasting when I was much younger and not particularly enjoying it, but thinking that I might understand it better when I was older.  It seemed like it had a lot of heavy and dark thematic elements for children, and after reading it again I can see that I was right (both on it being deep and also me not liking it very much), though not exactly for the reasons I imagined.

This classic tells the story of the Tuck family, who after drinking from an enchanted spring find themselves seemingly invincible and immortal, and a little girl who learns their secret.  The book asks lot of big questions about the nature of life and death (is immortality a blessing or a curse?) and right and wrong (was it necessary to kill the man in the yellow suit? Does that make it acceptable?), but I think the biggest questions it raised were about freedom.  Winnie yearns to break free from what she believes are her parents' strict rules and manners.  The Tucks live forever, but their immortality is a prison, trapping them in this world.  The man in the yellow suit is trapped by his obsession to find the mysterious family and the magic spring.  Mae Tuck is literally imprisoned and is broken out by her family.

But more importantly, we need to have a conversation about the creepy ass relationship between Jesse and Winnie.  He's a 104 year old trapped in a 17 year old's body, she's a ten year old, full stop, and he wants her to drink from the immortality well when she's 17 and marry him (when he'll be 110).  This is after knowing her for a day.  That's creepy as hell!!  WTF mate!?  That is all.


The Great Catsby said...

I always thought the opening passage was one of the most beautiful I'd ever read. Nice review.

Christopher said...

Jesse's such a perv.

Brent Waggoner said...

She wants to be Jesse's girl.