The Reality Of Childhood: Bridge To Terabithia

1379 words - 6 pages

When the word childhood is mentioned, a few synonyms come to mind. Adults when looking back at their own childhood, tend to think of innocence, being carefree, taking naps,
a wild imagination, and the idea of simple pleasures. However today’s children tend to not be thought of with these characteristics. They are typically understood as spoiled, that lack most good morals. Ones that are being molded by culture and don’t display any values that past generation’s childhood had. However young adults and earlier generations can argue that childhood is as much present as it has ever been. Even modern children’s literature shows those characteristics in the current world.
A book called Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson shows the fanciful reality that is childhood. In the book, the two main characters, Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke, are friends that resemble the greatness of childhood in a modern world. They create a world together called Terabithia, where they are king and queen, in order to escape the bullies and harshness of the world around them. Jess enjoys painting and drawing, but tries to hide his creative abilities for possibly being bullied for his talent. Leslie, the new girl next door, becomes friends with him fast and helps him discover that he should embrace his individuality and helps him unleash his talent.
Jess and Leslie show how modern children are imaginative. In order to escape their problems, they create another world, called Terabithia, for themselves. This world is a place of solitude, safety and creativity that helps them cope with the outside world. They turn the school bullies into winged creatures, using their imagination and newfound courage, they overcome their fear of the bullies. Modern children are thought of as dumb, boring masses that spend most of their time playing video games. This however is untrue. In fact “A recent study found that, at least in their playtime, kids are becoming more imaginative,” (Rettner). They like to pretend to be princesses, firemen, superheroes, and they will escape to a world that is solely their own. Even with the understanding of today’s culture, creativity and imagination can never be lost by children, it can only change forms. “Experts say creativity is innate, so it can't really be lost. But it needs to be nurtured,” (Rettner).
Innocence is another one of the treasures that adults tend to believe was lost between their childhood and ours. However, people nowadays tend to think of innocence as almost stupidity, when it is fact is a synonym to guiltlessness. When a child doesn’t completely understand the consequences or doesn’t fully understand a situation, which is one form of innocence. Another form is: “To not grasp imaginatively that death will come. To be ignorant of sex, likewise. To believe in the irrational – Santa Claus, fairies, monsters under the bed. And, of course, the myth of the infinite power and goodness of parents,” (Lott). This is the active...

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