The great circle of life and how we may be bound by its dictums, but it is for our own good - The most important theme of the novel involves the great circle of life and how we may be bound by its dictums, but it is for our own good. The author seems to be speaking about how death is just as much an integral part of life as living is. We are meant to be born, live, hopefully, a good life, and then die. To disrupt that cycle would have devastating consequences to our world. This is the ultimate lesson that Winnie learns, as shown by her decision to not drink from the spring.

Change / Metamorphosis - The theme of change or metamorphosis is also an important idea. The author especially emphasizes this when she chooses the Toad as Winnie’s first friend. He represents through the cycles a toad experiences in its life the change we humans, too, must experience. We are meant to grow up, do something valuable with out lives and eventually die. This allows the world to progress and change as well. Drinking from the spring stifles change and growth and so Winnie chooses to live out her life, changing and growing through every stage.

Greed - The character of the Man in the Yellow Suit represents the theme of greed. He is never given a name, because he represents us all when we allow selfishness and greed to control out actions. His wearing a yellow suit is symbolic of cowardice. He is not a brave, upstanding individual. He's a coward and a bully who uses the Fosters and the Tucks to achieve his own ends. His violent death symbolizes how greed leads only misfortune.

Do the right thing, even if it is unpopular - The theme of the ability to understand what is the right thing to do and to act upon it even if it is not the popular choice. Winnie knew she had to help Mae escape the prison, because it was the right thing to do even though she could get into terrible trouble and the Tucks could be hurt. This has an important impact on the lesson the author wants to teach - we owe it to be kind and generous to our fellow human beings.

Moral Judgement / Values - The theme of moral judgment can also be seen in the decisions the Tucks have made all these years that they have been immortal and especially Mae’s decision to take another life to save humanity from the consequences of eternal life. Then, Winnie must use her moral judgment to break Mae out of prison even though it makes her an accessory to a crime. All of these characters are forced into decisions, which on the surface seem morally wrong, but underneath are the only decisions they could make.

Love - The last important theme is that of love. Winnie came to love the Tucks and through her experiences with them, she came to understand some very important ideas about life. In turn, she came to appreciate and love her parents and her Grandmother even more, because she understood why they treated her as they. Love also makes her parents realize that Winnie needs space, too, and that she is a very brave and wonderful little girl.


Overall, the mood is one of the triumph of the human spirit. Despite several setbacks, the Tucks are saved and Winnie goes home a better person. There are moments of darkness when the Man in the Yellow Suit makes threatening demands on the Fosters and the Tucks, but the desire of the Tucks to save the world from the consequences of eternal life eliminate the darkness the Man brings with him.

Biography of Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt was born on July 28, 1932 in Dayton, Ohio, and grew up there. She said in an interview that she learned from the forays her husband and sister made into writing that it wasn’t something you would want to pursue if you didn’t like being alone, didn’t like editing and revision, and if you couldn’t give it your full attention. It took her many years to learn this, but eventually she would come to write many books for young readers. Her first project was a collaboration with her husband on The Forty-Ninth Magician , and she wrote thirteen more including Tuck Everlasting in 1975 and her most recent novel Ouch! in 1998. She has been judged as a writer with the feel for the perfect word and irreverent humor. She lives with her husband, Samuel Babbitt, in Providence, Rhode Island and is the mother of three grown children.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Tuck Everlasting".