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Bridge to Terabithia
Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
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Bridge to Terabithia Theme of Society and Class

In Bridge to Terabithia we see the social class distinctions and the distinctions between the fifth graders (and even younger kids) and the seventh graders. Just as Jess and Leslie's parents are separated by how much money and education they have (the former, very little; the latter, quite a bit), students at school are divided by even firmer, unspoken class distinctions. The older students get all the resources and get to abuse the younger students. The younger students have to take care of, and amuse, themselves. But maybe if they'd been given more resources, Jess and Leslie might have been less inspired to create Terabithia.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. Which character is the most out-of-place, and why?
  2. Leslie is ostracized – big word alert for not liked or accepted – because her family doesn't have a TV. What lack would create the same effect in our society today?
  3. Are you glad you get to wear pants? What do your clothing choices say about you?
  4. Which is worse, the class divisions among the adults, or the ones between the fifth and seventh graders?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In Bridge to Terabithia, we see that money can provide education, ability, and opportunity, but even it can't prevent tragedy or protect us from being different from others.

The five Aarons children's varying attitudes prove that nature is stronger than nurture – they all have the same background and disadvantages, but only Jess and May Belle make attempts to rise above it.

Next Page: Ambition
Previous Page: Transformation

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