EDLA 615
Prof, Silverman
S. Melniszyn

Assignment: Extension Project

 By Natalie Babbitt


I selected reflections to help me develop this project. The book Tuck Everlasting is a book about changes and life. I see this story reflected in the inner city students and how this story reflects the attitudes of some of these students.

 Winnie, the main character in this story can be seen living in a regimented life within the touch me not house. It was not until the end of the story that others came and played with her. “She was a figure of romance to them now, where before she had been too neat, too prissy; almost somehow, too clean to be a real friend.” Here we have change within Winnie. The change came from the Tucks, from outside the touch me not house and family.

The touch me not house is projected as cold with its iron fence around it. The image is one of hands off, don’t come near. How many troubled students project this image with in the classroom and to others? They project the image of the house, stay away. This image is to protect those inside by am image of strength. How many times do we see this image projected by students within the class? They hide their weaknesses and short comings behind a false image. Within this image they find protection just as the Fosters had in the book.

 Once you get past the house and follow the path you are next to tree gap, the forest primeval. On one side of the road was the village with its jail and gallows and to the other was the forest with a “sleeping, otherworld appearance that made you want to speak in whispers”. The forest can be a scary place if you have never been in one before. There is no path or a trail to follow. The unknown is the scariest thing of all.

 To many the village is what they know and are comfortable with. For this reason many choose to stay where they are no matter how bad it may seem. To take the first steps into the forest or life would be something they are not comfortable with. They have to leave the touch me not house and venture out. And what would the others in their touch me not houses say. All too often this is more important to that person then what they may find in the forest of life.

 And if they venture out into the forest like the Tucks what would they find? They may find confusion at first. This may be so until they learn the ways of the forest and start to think in a different manner. And if they venture deeper into the wood would they find the spring. That magical spring that would change their lives.

To learn thinking and compassion would be a magical spring within their own lives. To drink of its waters and have their eyes opened to a more beautiful world. To view others and thinking in a different way would an education in itself. To see education as a way through the forest of life would be the first steps in tearing down the fence around the touch me not house.

At the end of the book Winnie made a choice between herself and the frog. She extended herself to the frog with the bottle of water. Winnie saved the frog without thinking of herself. It is here that we can see that the touch me not house was not as important as it use to be.

If we can get some students to this point what a change we have made within their lives. It is for these reasons that I have used photos of woods and forest and houses. Many students have never ventured out of the city. To show them the bigger picture and encourage them to take the first steps out of the touch me not house and into the forest. For they are the Winnies of the world and we are the Tucks.

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