Throughout the novel Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson introduces vivid and unique characters. These characters assist in helping readers identify and understand the themes of friendship, acceptance and imagination and the style of Paterson’s writing help reader’s better understand these themes and the characters within the novel.
Jesse, also known as Jess is the main character in Paterson’s novel. He is the protagonist and the story is told from his point of view. He has a wide range of traits, including the desire to belong, a love for drawing, his sensitivity, kindness and fearfulness as well as being hardworking. Leslie is the second protagonist within the novel, her traits including; being friendly, imaginative, self-confident, bright and seemingly fearless.
Forster (1927, p.67), introduces the concept of round and flat characters. He introduces this concept as a curve rather than a simple binary or dichotomy (Forster 1927, p. 67) Within Paterson’s novel, her protagonist character’s Jesse and Lesley could be seen as round characters due to their variety of traits that make them believable. While they can both be identified as round characters, Lesley is a more static character with no change over the story, while Jess is a more dynamic character. Throughout the novel, the reader follows Jess’ path of self-discovery primarily through his actions in response to those around him.
Lukens, Smith and Coffel (2013, p. 131) describe theme in literature as “the idea that holds the story together.” Within a text there may be a range of reasonable themes because “each reader brings to a story a personal past, a present, and plans for the future. These elements shape our responses to the story” (Lukens, Smith &...
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...strated when Brian is trying to escape the moose and the narrator says “He started to move, ever so slowly; her head turned and her back hair went up—like the hair on an angry dog—and he stopped, took a slow breath, the hair went down and she ate. Move, hair up, stop, hair down, move, hair up—a half foot at a time until he was at the edge of the water” (Paulsen 1987, p.120). This tells what Brian is experiencing in a way that allows readers to picture vividly.
Through the use of plot, setting and voice Paulsen has created a text which is able to be followed vividly by readers. The setting works with the plot as it sets the basis for all the events that happen throughout the novel. These elements are used along with narrative voice to create a text which is interesting and flows, following Brian, the troubles he faces and overcomes which help foster his development.
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