Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
Bridge to Terabithia Courage Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"You're just yeller, Jesse Aarons. If you wasn't yeller, you'd beat somebody up if they took your little sister's Twinkies." (5.16)
By calling Jess "yellow," May Belle means that he's a coward. (For more on why "yellow" has this connotation, check out the article about it on Stumblerz). Because she's so little, she can't fight this battle herself. The implication here is that if she were her own big brother (we know, that's confusing), she would beat people up for stealing a sibling's snack. Her anger doesn't let her see that there's no way Jess could successfully beat up a seventh grader.
"We must have courage, my king. It may indeed be so."
They swung silently across the creek bed. On the farther bank, Leslie picked up two sticks. "Thy sword, sire," she whispered. (7.32-33)
Leslie gives Jess courage here, as she often does. As you can see with this quote, they take that courage into Terabithia to face their imaginary foes. Although the enemies are imaginary, they feel no less real. Jess and Leslie must arm themselves, remind themselves of their place as rulers, and defend their lands. They have the same kind of attitude inside Terabithia and as they do outside it.
"Leslie, I swear – I'd go in there if I could." He really thought he would, too. "You ain't scared of her, are you, Leslie?" He didn't mean it in a daring way, he was just dumbfounded by the idea of Leslie being scared. (7.70)
Amazingly, Jess discovers that Leslie feels fear too. While this sounds a little bit like him heckling Gary from earlier in the book – about letting girls run races – the narrator specifies here that this has a different tone. Jess is so amazed that Leslie could feel "scared" that he inadvertently taunts her into going in and facing Janice. Where she'd often given him courage in the past, here he inspires it in her.