Bridge to Terabithia : Top Ten Quotes
“Jess drew the way some people drink whisky” (Chpt. 2, p. 10).
Jess is addicted to drawing in every spare moment, but like some hide their booze, he has to hide his passion from his father who expects him to do more manly things.
“It made Jess ache inside to watch his dad grab the little ones to his shoulder, or lean down and hug them” (Chpt. 2, p. 16).
Jess is lonely and does not receive affection from the rest of the family. His father treats him differently, as though boys should not get the same softness as girls.
“'You ain't scared to let a girl race are you, Fulcher?'” (Chpt. 3, p. 26)
Jess stands up for Leslie's right to run with the boys by challenging the leader, Gary Fulcher.
“He believed her because there in the shadowy light of the stronghold everything seemed possible. Between the two of them they owned the world . . .” (Chpt. 4, p. 40).
In their magic kingdom of Terebithia in the woods, Leslie helps Jess to believe in himself. She tells him that he will be a success at his drawing.
“He grabbed the end of the rope and swung out toward the other bank with a kind of wild exhilaration and landed gently on his feet, taller and stronger and wiser in that mysterious land” (Chpt. 4, p. 46).
The rope serves in the beginning as the way into Terebithia. As Jess swings from one bank to the other, he changes from a little boy into the king of this land.
“Maybe, he thought, I was a foundling, like in the stories . . . Somewhere I have a family who have rooms filled with nothing but books and who still grieve for their baby who was stolen” (Chpt. 5, p. 58).
Jess's sister Brenda makes fun of the way Leslie looks, and Jess does not understand how he was born into such a crude unfeeling family. He is more at home in the warmth of the Burke household with Leslie and her cultured parents.
“It needed Leslie to make the magic. He was afraid he would destroy everything by trying to force the magic on his own . . .” (Chpt. 7, p. 65).
Jess goes to Terabithia once alone but does not believe in his own imaginative power at this point. It is only when Leslie is dead that he finds he is able to carry on the magic and share it with others.
“'Cause if you don't believe the Bible'--May Belle's eyes were huge-- 'God'll damn you to hell when you die'” (Chpt. 8, p. 85)
May Belle tells Leslie she will go to hell if she does not believe in the Bible, obviously something the six-year-old has picked up from adults. Both May Belle and Jess believe this and worry about Leslie after she dies. This comment and discussion are foreshadowing for the tragedy.
“It was as though he had been made with a great piece missing . . . Lord, it would be better to be born without an arm than to go through life with no guts” (Chpt. 9, p. 93)
Jess is constantly embarrassed that he is not as brave as Leslie is. In this instance, he is afraid to tell her he does not want to cross the flooded creek. His fear is not groundless, for Leslie dies in the swollen creek when the rope snaps.
“It was Leslie who had taken him from the cow pasture into Terabithia and turned him into a king . . . . For hadn't Leslie, even in Terebithia, tried to push back the walls of his mind and make him see beyond to the shining world—huge and terrible and beautiful and very fragile?” (Chpt. 13, p. 126)
After much grief at her loss, Jess sees what Leslie gave to him, and because of this realization, knows he has the confidence to carry on with his life.