Bridge to Terabithia

by Katherine Paterson

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Identify an example of foreshadowing in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

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Let us remind ourselves that foreshadowing can be defined as hints or clues that the writer gives us about what will happen later on in the novel, that often we only pick up on once we have finished the novel. In this great childhood classic, one of the biggest examples of foreshadowing relates to the final fate of Leslie and the way in which she drowns in the creek separating the "normal" world from their private kingdom of Terabithia. It is highly revealing that in Chapter Four, when Leslie presents Jess with the idea of creating their own private magical kingdom, and says they will do it in the woods, the narrator tells us:

There were parts of the woods that Jess did not like. Dark places where it was almost like being underwater, but he didn't say so.

This of course is a direct example of foreshadowing of Leslie's fate, for she ends up "being underwater" when she accidentally drowns crossing the creek into Terabithia. Thus in this early description, the tragedy that comes later on in the novel is foreshadowed.

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