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)
Of course, her temper had been terrible, and she had screamed at Jess all afternoon and was now too tired to fix any supper.
Jess made peanut-butter sandwiches for the little girls and himself, and because the kitchen was still hot and almost nauseatingly full of bean smell, the three of them went outside to eat. (2.1-2)
This shows us many of the bad things about Jess's life in Lark Creek. Sure, life is tough for everyone, but here it seems especially hard for poor Jess. It's Jess who has to take care of, and essentially be a parent to, the "little girls and himself." They can't even bear to be in their home because of the bad (temporary) smell. His mom can't control her temper and is mean to Jess, even though it sounds like he was working just as hard as she was all day. He doesn't have the luxury of having someone else make dinner for him.
"I know" – she was getting excited – "it could be a magic country like Narnia, and the only way you can get in is by swinging across on this enchanted rope." Her eyes were bright. She grabbed the rope. "Come on," she said. "Let's find a place to build our castle stronghold." (4.102)
Leslie (and Jess) create Terabithia where before there was nothing, through the power of imagination. Like the authors who create magical realities for their child characters to disappear into – C.S. Lewis, E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, and J.K. Rowling, most notably – Leslie imagines and names a vivid world. Unlike the authors and characters in those other books, though, Leslie and Jess really get to enter into and interact with the world they've created.
He believed her because there in the shadowy light of the stronghold everything seemed possible. Between the two of them they owned the world and no enemy, Gary Fulcher, Wanda Kay Moore, Janice Avery, Jess's own fears and insufficiencies, nor any of the foes whom Leslie imagined attacking Terabithia, could ever really defeat them. (4.113)
Here the regions overlap. In Terabithia, Jess and Leslie find safety and protection from every enemy in each region. While their enemies are real and imagined, internal and external, they end up fighting some of the same battles wherever they go. The protection they forge inside and outside of Terabithia defends them everywhere. Jess may feel most confident in Terabithia, at "the stronghold," but with Leslie at his side, he can be confident in Lark Creek too.