Discussion Topic

Tuck's smile in "Tuck Everlasting."

Summary:

Tuck's smile in Tuck Everlasting represents his acceptance and understanding of the natural cycle of life and death. Unlike others who fear death, Tuck sees it as a necessary part of life, making his smile a symbol of wisdom and peace with the inevitable. This contrasts with the immortality that the Tuck family experiences, highlighting the natural order's importance.

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Why was Tuck smiling in Chapter 2 of Tuck Everlasting?

"Tuck almost never smiled except in sleep."

When Mae and Tuck are introduced, they are waking up.  Mae is instantly happy and super excited to see her sons.  Tuck wants to go back to sleep.  He does not want to go back to sleep because he is tired, though. He wants to go back to sleep in order to re-enter the good dream he was having. The dream is the reason that he was smiling in his sleep.  

"I was having that dream again, the good one where we're all in heaven and never heard of Treegap."

It's too early in the book at this point for the reader to know what Tuck is talking about.  Why would he want to have never heard of Treegap?  It sounded quaint enough in chapter 1.  Is his life really so bad that he strongly wishes to be in heaven immediately?  At the end of the chapter though, the narrator drops the bomb.  Mae, Tuck, and their sons have all looked the same for 87 years.  Tuck is an immortal.  Sounds cool, but Tuck has had enough of it.  He wants to age, grow old, and be "normal."  That's what happens in the dream.  That's why it makes him happy and smile.  He gets to experience his deepest desire.  

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Why was Tuck smiling in "Tuck Everlasting"?

The answer to your question is found in chapter two of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting

Angus Tuck is smiling because he is having a good dream.  

He snored gently, and for a moment the corners of his mouth turned upward in a smile. Tuck almost never smiled except in sleep.

A few moments later, Angus Tuck tells his wife, Mae, that he was having the good dream about being in Heaven.  

"I was having that dream again, the good one where we're all in heaven and never heard of Treegap."

The reason that Tuck thinks that being dead and in heaven would be so great is because it is something that will never happen to him.  Tuck is an immortal, and he became that way by drinking from a magical spring in the Treegap forest. More than anything else, Angus Tuck wishes that he could die.  By being able to die, he would be truly living.  

"If I knowed how to climb back on the wheel, I'd do it in a minute. You can't have living without dying. So you can't call it living, what we got."

The dream is a good dream and causes him to smile, because by being dead in the dream, it means that he truly lived.   

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