Friday, December 26, 2008

Tuck Everlasting

When I was little Tuck Everlasting was one of my favorite books. Now that I have reread it and thought of all the books I have loved in my life, I think Tuck Everlasting had left a lasting impression on me. It was, in fact, everlasting.

The jist is that this little girl, Winnie, feels trapped in her very orderly life and only wants escape. So she does escape and chooses her escape to be to the woods that surrounds her home. Once in the woods and after a series of events she meets the Tucks who is a family (husband, wife, two sons, and a horse) who had taken a drink from a spring in the woods and realized years later that it must be, in many ways, the Fountain of Youth. They don't age and by the time Winnie comes across them they're over 100 years old.

The story cleverly brings up the question of what would be right if you were faced with the chance to live forever. It speaks of the cycle of life, the way things are meant to be, immortality, and entertains young minds all at once. As a child I recall being horrified of death. The very idea of myself dying or my parents scared me to the core. I hadn't known anyone to die and I feared God because I felt he would take people away from me.

Now that I'm older and have (unfortunately) witnessed many deaths I've become more used to the idea and (sorry to be morbid) I am okay with the fact that I'll die. See, I realize nothings going to stop it from happening, it's a guarantee for us all, so no need to worry about the inevitable. But as a child it's a whole other story- it's a very scary thing.

Winnie reflects this fear because she is, after all, just a child. The idea of not having to worry about death is a very intriguing type of thing for a child. But she agrees to wait until she's older before making the decision and I feel her ultimate decision has a lot to do with the fact that she did grow older and she did understand life a little more.

Now we turn to the movie and the book at once. Here is one of the main characters- Jesse- who sounds cute and fun and a general good time. What's better is that he's immortal which adds and edge of magic to him. He's perpetually 17 (sound familiar Twilight fans?) and loves life (okay so that's a bit not like Edward Cullen) and he wants Winnie to wait and make the decision herself if she wants to become immortal and be a part of Jesse's life for eternity.

The movie upped Winnie's age from that of a preteen to a fifteen year old which makes the age difference not quite as creepy. In the movie, with the age difference cut down severely, they also take liberties to make more of a romantic relationship between Winnie and Jesse. However with the movie I feel this makes it appear more hard for Winnie to make a decision. Instead of just liking the family she's also truly in love with Jesse and she doesn't have long to wait til she can drink the water. But the book it's a childish crush and years til she can have the waters taste.

I love both the movie and the book. I own both. I enjoy both. I think the prettiness of being immortal- living on earth and getting to see the changes it has, going to see the world, living through all the eras, the history being built before your eyes, having all the time in the world to do what you want to do. It's all exciting to me and always has been. This book began my (slight) obsession with books concerning immortals. It was this book then the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles, His Dark Materials, and then Twilight.

The thing I enjoyed most about reading this book was the realization that my interest in immortality all started with this book over a decade ago.

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