Rising Action

The rising action begins with chapter one when the reader is introduced to the road, the wood, and Winnie’s cottage as well as the character of Winnie. We are also introduced to her desire to break the bonds her family has built around her and escape into the world. It follows her adventures into the wood, her meeting with the Tucks, and her decision to keep the secret of the spring. The rising action ends with the climax, which is Mae’s escape from the jail cell.

Falling Action

The falling action involves the Constable’s discovery of Winnie in the jail cell, the Tucks’ escape, Winnie’s decision to use the bottle of spring water on the Toad and the Tucks’ return to Treegap many years later. This is when they learn that Winnie had chosen life and death rather than immortality and that the spring had been bulldozed over never to found – they hope – again.

Point of View

The point of view is third person omniscient. Because it is seen through the eyes of an all-knowing, all-seeing omniscient narrator, who is the author herself.


There are several other literary devices that pop up at various times in the story. One of the most prevalent ones is foreshadowing, which frequently presents clues of something that will happen later in the novel. Some examples of foreshadowing include:

1. The author tells us that August is the month when people make decisions they sometimes regret later and that three seemingly unconnected events are coming together to create new and perhaps dangerous situations. This foreshadows the events of the story as a whole.

2. It is ironic when the Man in the Yellow Suit calls the Tucks “criminals,” because he is more of a criminal than the Tucks who have seemingly kidnapped Winnie.

3. Winnie’s grandmother hears Mae Tuck’s music box and proclaims that it’s the elf music she heard many years before. The Man in the Yellow Suit walks away, whistling the tune as if he has sung it before. These two aspects of the music box foreshadow how all these characters will come together.

4. Winnie is amazed when the Tucks – her kidnappers – are just as afraid and alarmed as she is. This foreshadows the bond that will grow up between them.

5. The appearance of the Man in the Yellow Suit on the path as the Tucks are “kidnapping” Winnie foreshadows that he is following them and has ulterior motives.

6. When the Tucks chastise themselves for not having formulated a plan, it foreshadows their terrible secret and how they have feared for 87 years that it will be revealed.

7. When Mae cautions Jesse that there is more than good times connected to living forever, it foreshadows the heavy decision Winnie will have to make as concerns keeping the secret and whether or not to drink from the spring at the age of 17.

8. When Angus Tuck declares he will take Winnie on the rowboat, because there’s much to say and not much time to say it, it foreshadows the Man in the Yellow Suit and his threats.

9. When the Constable mentions that they have a brand new jail in Treegap, it foreshadows Mae becoming its first inmate.

10. When Miles tells Winnie that humans are meat eaters and that means killing, it foreshadows Mae’s decision to kill the Man in the Yellow Suit.

11. The Man in the Yellow Suit enters the Tuck home with an expressionless face, but Winnie sees something unpleasant behind it. This foreshadows the evil he will try to perpetrate on them.

12. Winnie realizes that she cannot allow Mae to hang, because she will not die and the secret will be revealed. This foreshadows her decision to help Mae escape.

13. When Mae and Angus exchange meaningful glances in the diner after they hear that they bulldozed over the wood, it foreshadows their relief that perhaps the spring will never be found.


Another element that is important to note is irony - when something happens, or is seen, or is heard that we may know, but the characters do not, or that appears opposite of what is expected. Some examples of irony include:

1. It is ironic when Jesse tells Winnie he is 104, because she thinks he’s joking and he really is 104.

2. It is ironic when the Man in the Yellow Suit calls the Tucks “criminals,” because he is more of a criminal than the Tucks who have seemingly kidnapped Winnie.

3. In death, the Man in the Yellow Suit looks like a marionette, carelessly thrown into the corner, arms and legs every which way amidst its strings. This is ironic, because just moments before, he had been the one pulling all the strings.

4. It is ironic that Winnie wonders if Mae is weeping in her cell over the death of the Man in the Yellow Suit, because he was the greatest threat to humanity there was.

5. It is ironic that the gallows are blown over during the storm, because if they had stood and Mae had hung on them, the world as they knew it would have been blown over.

6. It’s ironic that Angus comments about the Toad in the end that the “durn fool must think he’s going to live forever,” because that’s exactly what’s going to happen since Winnie poured the spring water over it.