Bridge to Terabithia Questions and Answers
by Katherine Paterson

Start Your Free Trial

In Bridge to Terabithia, how does Jess react to the news of Leslie's death?

In Bridge to Terabithia, Jess reacts to the news of Leslie's death by being in denial. When his father tells him about the tragic event, Jess accuses him of lying. He also tells May Belle that it's a lie. He does this because he knows that she believes that Leslie will go to hell, as she's not a Christian.

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University


calendarEducator since 2014

write6,317 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

I'm going to start this answer with a short anecdote from my own life. When I was in high school, I had two friends suffer tragic accidents. Nobody died, but one friend got hit by a drunk driver and had to have his leg amputated. The other friend was on a motorcycle and was hit by a truck. That accident paralyzed him from the waist down.

This was more than twenty years ago, but I still remember two distinct reactions in both cases. The first reaction was complete disbelief. I thought people were playing a cruel joke on me. Once reality sank in, anger took over. I was angry at what I considered the injustice of the entire situation. It wasn't their fault, but they paid heavy prices. I read Bridge to Terabithia for the first time years after these events from my life.

Jess's reaction to Leslie's death is awful to read. It's awful to read because of how true to real life his emotional response is. It perfectly mirrors true human grief and our response to tragic news that involves people we...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 980 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Steph Müller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write986 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Business, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,489 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial