As you probably know if you follow my book blog, I’ve been teaching Tuck Everlasting to 5th graders. It’s going great! This week, I’m having the kids write diary entries from a character’s point of view. Of course, digging this deep into a book – especially one I loved when I was a kid – makes my mind wander to my favorite hobby, sorting fictional characters into Hogwarts houses. Here’s what I came up with:
The Tuck Family: Hufflepuff. A simple, down-to-earth family, the Tucks don’t see themselves as extraordinary and can’t understand why they would be blessed – or cursed – with immortality. They are hard-working and kind, loyal to each other, and content to simply play their part in the wheel of life, which makes their situation all the more ironic.
Jesse Tuck: Gryffindor. It’s hard to evaluate bravery in someone who knows he’ll never die or be harmed, but Jesse shows more of an adventurous spirit than his parents or brother. He spends his eternity traveling, seeing new things and enjoying himself, and promises Winnie a life of unending adventure if she drinks the water. Unlike the rest of his family, Jesse seems okay with the idea of living forever as long as he has something exciting to do with his time and someone to share it with.
Winnie Foster: Ravenclaw. Stifled by a strict upbringing but wise beyond her years, Winnie is neither especially brave nor ambitious, but she is quite intelligent. Not only that, but she has an open mind and is willing to learn from her experiences, coming to mature conclusions when faced with the sort of questions adults struggle with. She’s never really shown to be “book-smart”, but she’s contemplative and insightful.
The Man in the Yellow Suit: Slytherin. Someone from any house might want to drink the water, but only a Slytherin would want to sell it. Where the Tucks see a danger and Winnie sees a difficult decision, the mysterious stranger sees an opportunity. To him, the spring – much like the sorcerer’s stone in Harry Potter – is a potential source of immortality and wealth. And, as Dumbledore says, “The stone was not really such a wonderful thing. … Humans do have a knack for choosing precisely those things that are worst for them”.