bridge to terabithia
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This is good question for the discussion board.
This novel centers around how the protagonist, Jess, and his best friend Leslie use their imagination to cope with and conquer the "demons" they must deal with on a daily basis - bullies, fears, conflicts with parents, etc.
One of the conflicts of the story is Jess's feeling of alienation within his own family. As the only boy, he feels separated and either used or ignored by his mother and his sisters. He would like a close relationship with his father, but the stressed out Mr. Aarons has little to do with him. We see that Mr. Aarons does care for Jess, as he is able to comfort Jess after Leslie's death.
His father sat down on the dirt beside him. "'I don't care. I don't care.' He was crying now, crying so hard he could barely breathe. "His father pulled Jess over on his lap as if he were Joyce Ann. 'There. There," he said, patting his head. 'Shhh. Shhh.'"
But it is only in this crisis that the two are able to connect.
I suggest the invention of a time-stopping device. If Jess were able to stop time for his father, then his father would be able to be rested and get his work done and have time to spend time talking with Jess and sharing a relationship with him. This would make Jess feel more accepted in his own family and would give Jess a positive adult relationship that would contribute to helping him mature as a person.
If Jess were able to turn back time I think he would have taken Leslie with him to the gallery to avoid Leslie having her accident. As well as changing this event, I think Jess would also change the past for Janice Avery and end the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. She could then be a friend rather than a bully.
I think that something like a labour saving device for Jesse's father would be very helpful. I agree with #2 in that one of the central conflicts of this novel is Jesse's desire to have a strong father figure who can mentor him as he grows up in a very challening world. Something that would give his father more time to spend with his family would be greatly appreciated.
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