How are the Burkes different from the Aarons in The Bridge to Terabithia?

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estoverl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Burkes, Leslie's parents in the novel, are the more involved of these two sets of rather self-absorbed parents in the novel Bridge to Terabithia. The Burkes are city people who have moved to the country to learn how to live a simpler, rural life. They are writers who are often involved in writing projects. Their parenting style could best be described as informal compared to the Aarons'. The Burkes share conversations with Leslie about music, literature and politics.

By comparison, the Aarons, Jess's parents, are more traditional, rural parents. Their work on the land and home consumes their time and energy. Their relationship with the children revolves around chores and what needs to be accomplished around the home. Conversation is kept at a minimum, even though Jess longs for affection and interaction from his parents. Their traditional style of parenting extends to the chores assigned around the house. Jess, the only boy, is given far more chores to do than the four sisters because all chores are assigned based on gender. Jess, as the only boy, must do all the "male" chores. 

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Bridge to Terabithia

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