The protagonist of a story is the main character who traditionally undergoes some sort of change. He or she must usually overcome some opposing force. The protagonist is Winnie Foster who is only ten years old. She is at the stage of life where she is beginning to stretch her wings and look to the world outside her home. However, because she is an only child, her parents are reluctant to let her go, which only makes Winnie more determined to do so. She learns all about the great circle of life the Tucks take her home, and she also learns about friendship and love.
The Tucks are also the protagonists, because they are the ones who teach both Winnie and the reader about the value of following the cycles that life presents and never telling the secret of the spring. They are simple people, but they understand what life is really all about.
The antagonist of a story is the force that provides an obstacle for the protagonist. The antagonist does not always have to be a single character or even a character at all. The antagonist is the Man in the Yellow Suit who wants the secret of the spring so badly that he would cheat, lie, steal and maybe even kill to get it.
Another Antagonist is the human desire to live forever no matter what the consequences. The temptation to drink from the spring is so great that anyone who knows about it would do so without a thought for what they might face in a life that never ends.
The climax of a plot is the major turning point that allows the protagonist to resolve the conflict. The climax is Mae Tuck’s escape from jail and Winnie’s decision to help her no matter the consequences, because she knows it is the right thing to do for Mae and for mankind.
Winnie saves the Toad from a dog that would harm it and then uses the bottle of spring water Jesse had left her to keep it safe forever. She believes, if she wants to, she can find the spring when she is seventeen, drink from it, and then find Jesse. However, the Tucks return to Treegap in 1948 and discover that Winnie had chosen life with death as its result rather than life eternal. She is buried in the town cemetery and had died just two months before the Tucks returned. They feel terribly sad and know that Jesse will, too, but they travel on knowing they’ll never return to Treegap. The tinkling of Mae’s music box can be heard as they ride away in their wagon.
This story is a fantasy about a family named Tuck who accidentally stumble upon a spring in a wood, which has the ability to give eternal life. They don’t realize at first what they have drunk until they realize that their bodies are not aging and they cannot be hurt or harmed in any way. They travel quietly around the countryside; never staying in one place too long so that people will not realize their secret. Into this family comes Winnie Foster, a little girl in search of freedom. She learns their secret and falls in love with them so deeply that she will do anything to protect them. The family and Winnie then must face a villain who would steal their secret for himself.