Natalie Babbitt’s best selling novel “Tuck Everlasting” tells the story of a young girl who seeks to find adventure and finds more than what she had bargained for. The young girl is named Winnie Foster. Winnie Foster meets a family who varies from most families she has come to know in life, but that doesn’t stop her from loving the family with everything she can. Throughout this novel, Winnie demonstrates selflessness, courage, and true love.When readers first meet this ten year old girl, she is everything but what most would consider happy. After hitting a breaking point and growing tired of feeling trapped, she runs away. Leaving her overbearing family, school, and daily life behind. Because Winnie feels so trapped, it’s no surprise to readers that one of her greatest early on goals is “to be by herself for a change.” She is a ten year old little girl, she needs her space, of course.When Winnie “runs into” the Tucks, the life she has known for her ten years begins changing and flipping inside out. She goes from feeling like a trapped, ten-year-old child with zero levels of independence to a stronger, more independent young lady. Having any bit of independence really makes you feel grown-up and like an adult. Like finally, you have your own desires, something that belongs just to you. On top of that, Winnie even plays the role of the adult among the Tucks, almost acting as a mother figure. Readers will experience getting to find her comforting the Tucks when they are having hard times and sticking up for them when they’re in trouble. While telling Winnie their life stories, the narrator uses subtle hints to show that Winnie is truly the leader of the pack. You can tell from this excerpt: “It was the strangest story Winnie had ever heard. She soon suspected they had never told it before, except to each other—that she was their first real audience; for they gathered around her like children at their mother’s knee, each trying to claim her attention, and sometimes they all talked at once, and interrupted each other, in their eagerness.” If the Tucks are the “children” telling the story, excitedly looking for attention, Winnie is the “mother” whose attention is demanded. It’s almost as if she were in a parallel world of what she was used to at home. This was the kind of attention that was flattering for her and and made her feel grown-up. The attention at home, on the other hand, is almost confining.While readers are on the growing-up-fast topic, nothing will make you mature as quickly as seeing a guy beaten in the head with the base of a shotgun. Making it worse this maturing young girl has to keep everything she has seen and heard a total secret. And once she’s back with her family, it’s pretty obvious that something has changed.Babbitt writes, “You mean, ownership of the wood will come back to our family if he dies,” Winnie said flatly. Her statement shocking everyone for its bluntness. Soon after, they put her to bed, with the usual hugs and kisses, but they felt an urge to subconsciously watch her over their shoulders as they snuck out quietly from her bedroom, as if they knew that somehow, she was different. As if the little girl in her was gone, she had slipped away.Meeting the Tucks granted many of Winnie’s wishes. She experiences love, responsibility, adventure, excitement, and a little bit of heartache too.After all is said and done, she did experience “something interesting—something that’s all hers”. She gets to keep a secret that’s only hers for the rest of her life, an experience that nobody else could ever understand or believe, and a choice no other person has ever had the chance to make. Winnie had to give up a lot in order to make her wish come true. Was it worth it to her? Yes. Babbitt made it clear that the young character, Winnie Foster, would sacrifice everything she did all over again if it meant being with the Tucks.

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