In Natalie Babbitt's book Tuck Everlasting, what are Winnie's changing emotions throughout the first chapters?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Natalie Babbitt's young reader's novel Tuck Everlasting, Winnie Foster certainly does experience a wide range of emotions within the first five chapters.

As described in the first chapter, Winnie's first emotion is indifference, especially towards the wood on her family's property. As the narrator describes, though she "looked at" the wood, "she had never been curious about it." As the narrator continues to describe, Winnie didn't find the things that woods contain interesting, such as squirrels, birds, leaves, and insects. Yet, as the novel progresses, the more she learns about life and things around her, the more she becomes emotionally involved in her surroundings.

By the third chapter, we learn that Winnie is feeling angry, angry enough to throw pebbles at a toad. She is angry because she feels the grownups around her keep her on too tight of a leash, always watching out for her, warning her of things, like she'll get her boots and stockings dirty or get heatstroke being out on a day that's too hot. She wants so much to be alone and to make her own decisions that she feels tempted to run away from home.

However, by the beginning of the fifth chapter, she awakens the next morning and realizes she really has nowhere to run away to; plus, she is really too afraid to run off on her own. As the novel progresses, Winnie gains newfound independence and courage.

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Tuck Everlasting

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