The answer to this question is based on individual reader opinion. More often than not, most of my students see the budding romance between Jesse and Winnie as cute, romantic, sweet, etc. I have never bought into those attitudes. The relationship is highly inappropriate in my opinion. Jesse is 17 years old and Winnie is 10. I would not want a high school junior making marital proposals to my fourth grade daughter. Jesse does indeed suggest that Winnie waits until she is closer to his physical age before she drinks the magic spring water. I don't believe that he has Winnie's best interests in mind. I think Jesse is selfishly looking for a companion to travel the world with. He knows that his own family no longer thinks immortality is a gift like he does; therefore, he is alone in following the pleasures that his "gift" allows. Winnie is young and impressionable. She is infatuated with Jesse, and she is likely to buy into his plan as a good idea. I worry about what would happen to Winnie if she doesn't wind up being as fun to be around at age 17 as Jesse believes. Is he going to abandon her in search of more "life to enjoy" for himself?
"We could get married, even. That'd be pretty good, wouldn't it! We could have a grand old time, go all around the world, see everything. Listen, Ma and Pa and Miles, they don't know how to enjoy it, what we got. Why, heck, Winnie, life's to enjoy yourself, isn't it? What else is it good for? That's what I say. And you and me, we could have a good time that never, never stopped. Wouldn't that be something?"