Topics for Discussion
1. Why did the Tucks keep their immortality a secret? Was it merely to protect themselves or did they have a deeper, less selfish motive?
2. Were the Tucks right to want to keep the secret of immortality from the world? Would other, better educated and more resourceful people have been able to deal with eternal life more successfully? In their position, would you have gone public with the discovery?
3. Winnie lies about the Tucks kidnapping her and then she herself breaks the law when she helps Mae Tuck escape from prison. Is she wrong to do these things? Is it ever morally correct to break the law?
4. If you were given a chance at eternal life, would you take it? If you would, what would be the best age to do so? Twelve? Seventeen? Twenty four? Remember that once you've drunk from the fountain you'll stop aging; you'll be twelve, seventeen, or twenty four forever.
5. Is the stranger an entirely evil man? Are his motives entirely bad?
6. Why does Winnie decide not to drink the water?
7. Babbitt doesn't show us Winnie's decision to remain mortal; we only find out about it in the epilogue, some seven decades later. Why did Babbitt choose to tell us of Winnie's decision in this way?
8. At the end of the book Babbitt has the ash tree which marked the fountain destroyed by lightning and then the entire area bulldozed, presumably destroying the fountain. Why does this occur? Do you think it was pure chance?