Most children are intrigued by the thought ofreading or listening to a story with heroic characters.
Regardless of thestatus of heroic characters (for instance, real or not real), children areentertained and often look up to these individuals for guidance. Two such shortstories, Tuck Everlasting, by NatalieBabbitt and The Lion, the Witch, and theWardrobe, by C.S Lewis, are a great children’s story that advances theroles and forms of heroism.
This essay will, therefore, analyze how the centralcharacters go through changes in their journey and how their actions affectpeople around them, and the society. Natalie Babbitt’s, Tuck Everlasting, is an excellent novel that depicts the theme ofheroism. The story revolves around the main character, Winnie Foster, who doesnot only yearn for change but also personal freedom. She feels trapped by herfamily members, as they never gave her a chance to venture beyond the homecompound.
But, her freedom comes as an unexpected guest – when she is kidnappedby the Tucks in order to keep her from drinking from the fountain of youth.Long before, the Tucks had drunk from that fountain and were gifted witheternal life, which felt more of a burden than a gift as time passed by. Soon,Winne comes to care for the Tucks; and this is where she begins to assert herindependence in three ways. At first, she disobeys her parents and the law byhelping Mae Tuck escape from jail. Before the night Mae is to be hanged, Winnesneaks out of her house, and she finds it “so easy” to do so, that she feels”faintly shocked” (Babbitt 121). If she were to run away, in the beginning, shewould feel somewhat guilty, but now she sees that she can come and go at herown will. Her quest has given her compassion for others; instead of being self-centeredas we are first introduced to her. It is this declaration of love for the Tucksshe has that ironically helps her build relationships with others around her.
Winnie’sethic of care, which began when she befriended the Tucks, had opened up new pathsof relationships to others around her and to the society. For example, sheshows her care towards the Tucks by never revealing their secret. Eventually,the spring gets cemented over when the woods get developed, but Winne stillguards their secret, for no one would ever discover the spring even if theyknew what it was. It is her ethic of care that extends beyond their physicalpresence – in which she keeps the secret even though she never sees them again.Lastly, Winnie decides to not drink the vial of water that Jesse gives her, nordoes she drink from the spring before it is permanently destroyed. It is fromthe Tucks she learns that living forever and constantly finding new places tolive can get tiring; therefore chooses to live a normal life instead. It isthrough the quest that has helped Winnie in growing up and become a woman ofcharacter. She chooses not to use the events that transpired to transform hersociety but to devote her life to keeping things the same.
The change thatoccurs in, Tuck Everlasting, by Winnie is quite significant as she changed froma self-centered young girl to a heroic mature woman. Similarly, in TheLion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the character of Edmund Pevensieundergoes a dramatic character transformation, throughout his journey inNarnia. The change that transforms him comes from the relationship that he haswith his siblings and the White Witch. In the beginning, Lewis shows how Edmundis quite self-involved and gullible. When he first meets the White Witch hebelieves what she tells him. Edmund is able to gain her trust when the WhiteWitch feeds him the “Turkish delights”, which he quickly eats and he tells heranything she wants to know about his siblings (Lewis 38).
This shows howgullible and selfish he is – that he will satisfy the White Witch’s needs inorder to gain more candy and power. He doesn’t care about his siblings as longas he gets what he desires. Edmund’s attitude, however, changes after he isimprisoned by the White Witch. He realizes that the Witch isn’t good when hesees her turning innocent creatures into stone. He tries to stop her, but isunsuccessful; this is the first time that Edmund feels sorry for someone otherthan himself.
This is a turning pointfor Edmund because it shows how he has changed from being selfish to beingcaring and sympathetic towards others. It is from this moment that he findswhat the White Witch’s motives really are, and he knows that in order to helphis siblings defeat her; he must sacrifice his desires and dreams. The turningpoint of Edmund’s change occurs at the end of the story when he attempts toregain his sibling’s trust and respect. But it is during the battle betweenNarnia’s and the Witch’s army when Edmund’s transformation completely takesplace. With bravery, he goes after the White Witch, and eventually breaks herwand with his sword. Taking this risk shows how much Edmund had changed sincethe beginning of the journey.
His siblings had seen him in a different light;he had changed for the better and shows his commitment to his siblings byputting his life in danger in order to defend those who he had betrayed. Thechange that occurs with Edmund throughout his journey, changes him from aselfish child to a heroic young man. Overall, TuckEverlasting, and The Lion, the Witch,and the Wardrobe, are great children novels that show how the characters gothrough change and how they transform into great human beings by the end oftheir journey.
Also, the fact that a child can change for the better to helpsave a world really shows that change can really impact those around them.