What do you think the author of Tuck Everlasting was trying to say about life through the characters or plot of the story? Do you think this theme is still important today? Why or why not?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the primary points that Babbitt was trying to communicate about life was that its temporality must be embraced.  Angus affirms this when he says that "dying's part of the wheel."  Babbitt uses this to highlight how life has to be treasured and valued.  Part of what illuminates this is how Winnie chooses to live life.  She is faced with the opportunity to experience eternal life when given the bottle of water. However, she does not use it. Rather, she chooses to have the options available in life to her. Through such a choice, she chooses to live through the "wheel" that is living.  Winnie lived her life.  She married, had children, lived for them, and died.  When this form of life in all of its brief splendor is compared with the often banal existence of the Tucks, it is clear that life is meant to be lived.  The fact that it is finite is what makes it all the more precious.  Winnie did not live a life that was boring and uneventful.  Its limited capacity is what defined its beauty.

This message is still important today.  One of the best aspects of Babbitt's book is that it moves away from the notion of seeking to live forever.  In its place, it affirms the idea of making today count.  There is something universal in this idea.  It speaks to how important life is to be lived because it is limited. When it's clear that Winnie has died, what is equally evident is that human beings are not measured in how long they live but rather what they do with that time.  This message is very relevant to modern readers, who might also struggle with the questions of what we should do and how we should live.

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