What is the difference between Angus’s and Miles’s opinions of everlasting life?

Angus and Miles both see many negative elements in having everlasting life. Angus is more accepting, although he regrets that the Tucks have to remain isolated. He realizes that the prospect of dying makes people value life more. Miles is bitter about his experiences after drinking the water, because his wife left him and took their children. He does not think that everlasting life was worth losing them.

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There are some similarities in Angus’s and Miles’s opinions of everlasting life because both men have no choice but to accept their situation. Both men also regret that they and the other Tucks must live apart from the rest of society. The differences between them stem in part from their different ages when they drank the water and also relate to their involvement with their families afterward. Angus was older and his wife and children, who drank with him, have stayed with him. Miles was only in his twenties, and his wife and children did not drink the water. His wife was so disturbed by his not aging that she took the children and left him. Miles, therefore, developed a more negative attitude toward living forever and paying the high price for immortality: losing his family.

When Winnie learns about their condition and is given the option of drinking the water, Angus wants to be sure she understands the consequences. He uses the analogy of a wheel on which they continuously revolve, as opposed to making any forward progress on a path. Angus feels that being stuck in time makes them like rocks and that real living happens only to those who know they will die.

Miles is concerned not only about having lost his wife and children—whom he cannot see grow up—but also the need to hide away from the world. He wishes that he could make a larger contribution beyond the self-sufficient life that the Tucks live, which to him feels like just taking up space.

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