Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
Bridge to Terabithia Contrasting Regions: Lark Creek and Terabithia Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
They were always nice to Jess when he went over, but then they would suddenly begin talking about French politics or string quartets (which he at first thought was a square box made out of string), or how to save the timber wolves or redwoods or singing whales, and he was scared to open his mouth and show once and for all how dumb he was.
He wasn't comfortable having Leslie at his house either. (4.136-137)
There are different regions within Lark Creek, too. Jess feels out-of-place at the Burkes' home, and also feels like Leslie is out-of-place at his home. Although the differences between homes aren't as sharp as those between Lark Creek and Terabithia itself, they're still deeply felt. Jess's fear that he doesn't belong at the Burkes' comes from a lack of self-confidence and shared knowledge. But he's probably far harder on himself than they would be.
Leslie took a deep breath. "This is not an ordinary place," she whispered. "Even the rulers of Terabithia come into it only at times of greatest sorrow or of greatest joy. We must strive to keep it sacred. It would not do to disturb the Spirits." (4.146)
Terabithia may be made up, but that doesn't mean it's not complex, or that its parts aren't clearly differentiated. There are special and "sacred" places inside Terabithia, reserved only for special occasions: as Leslie puts it, for "times of greatest sorrow or of greatest joy." Her description shows how deep the magic of Terabithia goes, and how great her capacity for imagination is.
Leslie gave a deep satisfied sigh. "I love this room," she said. "Don't you feel the golden enchantment of it? It is worthy to be" – Jess looked up in sudden alarm – "in a palace." Relief. In such a mood, a person might even let a sworn secret slip. But she hadn't […] Terabithia was still just for the two of them. (7.27)
Here, Terabithian qualities bleed into the everyday world. Leslie's special vision, which allowed her to see Terabithia in a patch of forest and then show it to Jess, can transform ordinary and extraordinary places alike. Jess is worried that in her excitement about the golden room, she'll reveal their secret, but he should know better: Terabithia is theirs alone.