What is a timeline of important events in the book Tuck Everlasting?

2 Answers | Add Yours

ms-charleston-yawp's profile pic

Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

If you are talking about a "timeline of events," then you are talking about the plot of the story.  This timeline usually runs from the exposition, the inciting incident (often called the conflict), the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution.  Even though some scholars disagree on the climax of the story, all of the elements in the plot timeline can be found in Tuck Everlasting.

The exposition is when we, as readers, learn about Winnie Foster, her dislike of her life at home and her plan to run away.  The inciting incident is when Winnie spies Jesse Tuck drinking from a hidden spring and wonders what he is up to.  (This is what changes the course of events in the story.)  From here begins the rising action, we learn that the Tucks are actually hundreds of years old and that the spring they are drinking from is a magical spring that gives eternal life to its drinkers.  The Tucks keep Winnie with them until she understands the truth about what is going on.  Other parts of the rising action involve the man with the yellow suit who has tried to find out the truth about the Tucks for years.  When the man in the yellow suit finally comes to take Winnie back home, Mae Tuck has to resort to violence in order to keep the family's secret.  She hits the man in the yellow suit with a gun (actually pistol-whipping him) so hard that he eventually dies.  Unfortunately, it is at this moment that the police arrive, and Mae is not only taken to jail but convicted and scheduled to be hung.  Winnie and the Tuck family break Mae out of jail in order to contain their secret.  (Because of the spring water, Mae cannot die.) 

Everything's a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way it is.

This is the moment in question among scholars:  is Mae's violence against the man in the yellow suit the climax, or is the jailbreak the climax?  Because the climax is the height of the tension, my opinion is that the pistol-whipping scene is the climax.  The jailbreak isn't quite as anxious (just because we know that Mae couldn't be killed anyway).  This makes the jailbreak and the escape of all the Tucks part of the falling action.  Even though Jesse asks Winnie to drink the water and be his wife, she decides not to.  The resolution of the story comes when we see Winnie's grave and find that she has died after leading a normal life.

Therefore, the timeline of events follow a traditional plot line of exposition, the inciting incident (often called the conflict), the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution.  As a result, it is a perfect story for a teacher to instruct students on the elements of plot.

Sources:

Top Answer

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It is not possible to list all events here, but here are some important ones.

-Winnie Foster is dissatisfied with home.  Her family has lived on the same plot of land for generations.  They are uptight.

-Winnie meets a boy named Jesse Tuck drinking from a spring.

-Jesse Tuck turns out to be immortal, and over a hundred years old.

-The Tuck family holds Winnie captive until she understands their situation.

-A man in a yellow suit arrives to take Winnie home and take over the spring, but Mae Tuck shoots him.

-Mae is arrested and convicted of murder, but when they try to hang her it won’t work.

-They break Mae out of jail.

-Jesse gives Mae some of the immortality-giving water, and tells her to wait until she is 17 to drink it or choose a mortal life.

Once she had hidden Jesse's bottle in the bureau drawer, there was nothing to do but wait. (p. 117)

-When the Tucks return years later, they learn that Winnie lived a happy mortal life and died.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,924 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question