Bridge To Terabithia | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / बाल साहित्य

Bridge to Terabithia

   Sunabi Pokharel - Aug 05 2022

The novel begins with Jess, the main protagonist of the novel, living on a farm with his parents and his four sisters. He had been waking up early in the morning practicing running to become the fastest runner in his school. But on the day of the race, a girl named Leslie Burke, wins and becomes the fastest runner of their school. Jess didn’t really like Leslie in the beginning as she had won the race which he wanted to win but gradually his dislike started disappearing because she was a really intelligent and creative person. They both become friends very fast. As both Jess and Leslie were two of the fastest runners of their grade, they used to run together everyday. One day, as they were running, they went into the forest. Swinging on a rope over a creek, they arrive at a land and they named the land as Terabithia. Jess becomes the king and Leslie becomes the queen of Terabithia. They even re-construct a tree house and act as if that was their kingdom. They started using the place to spend time after school. Leslie was much better at literature than Jess, so she taught him some words that a king would say. Jess gifts Leslie a puppy for Christmas and they name him Prince Terrien who then became the guardian and protector of Terabithia. One day, May Belle, the youngest sister of Jess, loudly tells that she has Twinkies. A seventh grader named Janice Avery, whom everybody knew as the school bully, steals them from May Belle. May Belle requests Jess to take revenge for her by beating Janice but Leslie explains to her that they should do something that wouldn’t let the teachers punish them. While hanging out in Terabithia, Leslie decides to write a love letter from Willard Hughes. He was the guy whom all the seventh grade girls liked. So, Jess writes the letter as Leslie tells him and they place the letter on Janice’s desk. Janice believes the letter was from Willard who wants to walk her home. But she ends up walking home alone and getting rejected by Willard. May Belle becomes really happy that she gets revenge. As Leslie’s family is wealthy, they decide to remodel their house, and that makes Jess feel jealous and lonely but then Leslie asks him to help her family in remodeling their house. Jess learns a lot from Burkes while working with them. They appreciate Jess as well. When Jess and Leslie return to Terabithia after a long time, they fight with evil spirits. They also visit a pine grove to thank it. Leslie is not shown as a religious girl. But when Jess invites her to go to church on Easter, she goes along with him. Leslie, while attending the church, doesn't show much faith in the Bible. May Belle is surprised by seeing her not believing the holy book of the Bible. She also asks Leslie what if she dies. Ater few weeks after this incident takes place, it begins raining heavily which ends up flooding the creek leading to Terabithia. Jess becomes scared and wants to tell Leslie that he doesn't want to go there but seeing her confidence and fearless behavior he cannot say it. But when he finally decides to tell her, his favorite teacher, Miss Edmunds, invites him on a trip to Washington DC to visit the art gallery. He enjoys his day out but he also feels guilty that he didn't bring Leslie along with him. When he returns home, he notices that his family is very serious and after he questions their silence they tell him that Leslie had passed away while she went to Terabithia. The rope had snapped and she downed in the creek filled with water. Jess wasn't able to believe that his best friend had died but gradually he accepted it. He attends her funeral but knowing that she was being cremated makes him angry so he leaves the place. The Burkes too return back to their old place. The book, Bridge to Terabithia ends with May Belle trying to go to Terabithia using a fallen tree as a bridge. Jess helps her to cross and reach Terabithia and that makes her the new queen of Terabithia.

Critical Analysis:
The novel mainly focuses on friendship and bonds. On the way of Jess and Leslie becoming best friends, they encounter a lot of conflict with one another. In the beginning of the novel, Jess wanted to become the fastest kid in the fifth grade but Leslie, who was a new student, then joins his school and wins the race. He didn’t like Leslie previously because of that reason. But both Jess and Leslie had no friends and both were longing for one too. As they both were each other's neighbors, they became friends. Jess actually didn’t think of Leslie as a good choice to become friends with because she was a girl. Our society has made us think that boy and girl can never be just friends and a guy and a girl’s friendship always ends up getting romanticized, well most of the time. It's the same case with Jess here. It shows how stereotypical our society is. Complications arise in the novel when May Belle’s twinkies get stolen by Janice who was the school bully. Connecting this to our real life, we encounter lots of bullies in our school life who steal and punish their juniors for nothing and just for showing who is in power. They make the juniors feel like they are nothing in front of them. Most of the students get bullied and cannot stand up but there are students like Leslie in the real world too who stand up for themselves and for others too. In the story, Leslie along with Jess teach Janice a lesson to show her true status. Jess finds out that his one and only best friend who taught him to be brave and confident had passed away. He refuses to believe this but gradually he processes this information. A guy who is just studying in fifth grade lost his friend. Jess didn’t know about death completely and he had to find out that Leslie died. This was a really difficult task for Jess to find something this dead serious and to face the reality that soon.

Bridge to Terabithia is quite a fascinating book and I really loved it alot. After I got to know that this novel is somewhat related to a true incident, it made me really emotional and I felt for the character, Jess alot. Losing a person really close to us isn’t something anybody would like to feel. Neither have I ever experienced such pain ever before. But reading this book, I could understand how it feels. The best part of the book is definitely the friendship between Jess and Leslie. It shows the readers how much of an impact a great friend makes in you and your life positively. A boy whose family never supported him in what he was interested in gets a best friend who makes him realize what living the life is and as he starts becoming happy and feels more confident than ever, she passes away making him all alone. This is something really tragic and I believe most of the readers who love drama would definitely love this piece of literature. The vocabulary isn’t too difficult as well. Lastly, I recommend this book to any reader above twelve years of age as I believe they will be able to understand and interpret the book well.

Author: Katherine Paterson
Published on: October 21, 1977
Genre: Children’s fiction, Young adult fiction

Reviewed by: Sunabi Pokharel Grade: X ID no: 25018

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