Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting Metaphors and Similes

Moving Into a Dream (Simile)

Leaving the cottage was like leaving something real and moving into dream. (p. 121)

Near midnight, Winnie slips out from her parents' cottage and goes to join the Tucks, who are breaking Mae out of prison. Winnie can hardly believe she is daring enough to attempt this, and she deals with a feeling of unreality. Ironically, these events are occurring at night, a time when everyone else is asleep.

The Paintbox of the Sky (Simile)

The sky was a ragged blaze of red and pink and orange, and its double trembled on the surface of the pond like colour spilled from a paint box. (p. 60)

In this sentence, the author compares the sky's reflection to a spilled paintbox of distinct colors. The three colors chosen are significant because they are bright, hot colors. Though they are beautiful, they are likened to color spilled from a paint box, which suggests that there might be sadness involved in their beautiful appearance as well. This later becomes clear when Tuck begins to speak about the negativity involved in immortality.

Closing the Gates (Metaphor)

Closing the gates of her oldest fears as had the gates of her own fenced yard.

Winnie's parents were overprotective, which led them to set strict rules for Winnie. They discouraged the young girl from going outside, warning her of the danger she will face the moment she steps outside the gate. This quote compares the gates of Winnie's yard to the mental structures that contained her fear of the unknown world. However, when she overcomes her fear and steps out into the world, she lets go of her fear.

The Ferris Wheel of August (Simile)

The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. (p. 3)

The opening lines of the novel’s Prologue presents a textbook example of how start a story with an image that resonates with everything connected to the theme without spoiling the narrative. This quote evokes the moment a seat at the top of a Ferris Wheel sits precariously between upward and down motion on a hot August day that is the symbolic counterpart to the first half of the year being in the past and the second half of the year still remaining an uncertain future.

This simile is layered with parallel conceptions of time as briefly seeming to stop and like a carnival ride that children look forward to each year while adults recall it with growing nostalgia. It is almost impossible to conceive of a more perfect simile to open a novel about childhood, maturity, and the possibility of living forever.

Potato (Metaphor)

A great potato of a woman with a round, sensible face and calm brown eyes. (p. 10)

This metaphor is used to introduce the reader to Mae Tuck. Mae is warm yet simple, like a potato. A potato is a comforting food, and it is also connected to the earth and the soil. This makes it a suitable metaphor for Mae, who is a simple, nurturing, and homely woman. Though she is not beautiful in a conventional sense, Mae is a gentle and sensible woman. This simple metaphor gives the reader deep insight into Mae's character.