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The Bridge to Terabithia is a short emotional story, as an attempt to look through children's eyes at things that are not at all childish. Surprisingly, the book touches not only on the topic of friendship and death, but also on the topic of domestic violence and even a little class inequality and religion. The story is very plausibly described, family relationships, relationships at school with classmates, some boyish competitions. The protagonist himself seems older than a ten-year-old boy. The main event of the book happened out of the blue, absurdly, out of time, when nothing foreshadowed, it seems inappropriate, although here, probably, the greatest plausibility is observed, no matter how one might expect and prepare, the death of a loved one is still a surprise and a blow.
The Plot and Analysis
The book tells us about a guy who dreams of a magical country, Terabithia. Only he, his girlfriend Leslie, the dog Prince Terrian and their fictional subjects live there. Even their subjects dream with them. But their reasons for creating the country are not noble at all, they created the country to escape from the gray routine and their problems in life. And there were many problems, they tried to hide in their happy world (Csupo). This country brings joy to the heart of Jess, the protagonist of the story. And not only to him, but also to Leslie, Prince Terrian and a fictional subject.
To compare the movie and the book, in the movie Leslie was a magical girl, Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She spoke in cliché phrases, she inspired with her personality, she didn't care about others. She became attached to Jess because he was, in fact, the only kind boy in the class. Even in death, Leslie left her mark, changing the fate of the people around. But this is all a blatant lie. Leslie is not at all a magical girl who strives to spit her special worldview into social norms. She is an ordinary child, sometimes sad, rude and illogical. She is just as afraid of not fitting into the team as everyone else and is desperately looking for a connection with at least someone, inventing things not on a whim, but for the sake of survival. She is also angry at those who offend her, she wants more friends, more positive impressions (French). She is not a savior sent down to the hero to guide him on the path of truth. She is real.
But Jess is especially lively, it is unusual and pleasant to see how salty and prickly he is in relation not only to his offenders, but simply to everyone around. All his childhood feelings seem to have been bypassed by the censorship of the "decent presentation of book childhood", and this is simply wonderful. Thoughts are thoughts, they express true, fleeting feelings and emotions (Csupo). Even the best friend can be irritating, as if having done nothing wrong, even a good child can have thoughts of envy, jealousy and possessiveness.
Showing reactions to death in movies is typical, but Jess's thoughts were different. Everyone expects the same correct reaction from the audience on crying, killing, or silence. Jess thought that her death was all a lie, the person just left, just didn’t come home today, but tomorrow he will certainly come. I even thought how condescendingly they would treat him on such an occasion, they would regret it once or twice. And then it happens, that very moment of awareness, from which one wants to run far away (French). And the anger at being abandoned, left behind, just a void, and it is good if one manages to fill it with something. No pretense and falsehood, only uncomfortable, wrong truth.
A story about friendship, kindness, fear and imagination about how a friend and a good imagination can help one survive problems and cope with fears. Jesse loves to draw not real objects, he comes up with fantastic situations. He has no close friends, and everyone in the family has his own squat problems, for them his fantasies are laughter and nothing more. One day, Leslie, a girl his age, moves into the house next door with her parents. Not immediately, but they become friends and come up with their own magical land, Terabithia, where they become king and queen, fight enemies and just have fun.
Csupo, Gabor. Bridge To Terabithia. Buena Vista Distribution, 2007.
French, Philip. "Bridge To Terabithia". The Guardian, 2007, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2007/may/06/sciencefictionandfantasy.family.
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