Bridge to Terabithia

by

Katherine Paterson

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Janice Avery Character Analysis

A seventh grader at the Lark Creek middle school and a notorious bully. Janice Avery’s imposing stature, petty cruelty, and the help she gets from her sidekicks Wilma and Bobby Sue all make her a frightening presence to the elementary school students. As the novel progresses, Janice’s tyranny increases and she targets Jess’s sister May Belle, so Jess and Leslie successfully hatch a plan to prank Janice—but soon realize that Janice is dealing with personal family problems that perhaps fuel her anger, meanness, and desire for control over others. Janice eventually becomes a much more sympathetic figure, and Leslie even begins refers to her as a kind of half-friend.

Janice Avery Quotes in Bridge to Terabithia

The Bridge to Terabithia quotes below are all either spoken by Janice Avery or refer to Janice Avery. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Bridge to Terabithia published in 2017.
Chapter 4 Quotes

There in the shadowy light of the stronghold everything seemed possible. Between the two of them they owned the world and no enemy, Gary Fulcher, Wanda Kay Moore, Janice Avery, Jess’s own fears and insufficiencies, nor any of the foes whom Leslie imagined attacking Terabithia, could ever really defeat them.

Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“Janice Avery is a very unfortunate person. Do you realize that?”

“What was she crying about, for heaven’s sake?”

“It’s a very complicated situation. I can understand now why Janice has so many problems related to people. […] Did you know her father beats her?”

Related Characters: Jess Aarons (speaker), Leslie Burke (speaker), Janice Avery
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Bridge to Terabithia LitChart as a printable PDF.
Bridge to Terabithia PDF

Janice Avery Character Timeline in Bridge to Terabithia

The timeline below shows where the character Janice Avery appears in Bridge to Terabithia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...come back to her regular seat as the biggest, meanest seventh-grade bully of them all, Janice Avery, comes down the aisle. As Janice approaches and threatens to start picking on Leslie,... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
One afternoon, Janice Avery accuses Jess of tripping her on the bus. The bus driver makes Jess get... (full context)
Chapter 5
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...threaten Terabithia—but in reality, the only “giant” Leslie and Jess have to worry about is Janice Avery. Together with her friends Wilma Dean and Bobby Sue Henshaw, Janice has all but... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...friends about them on the bus. At recess, May Belle approaches Jess and Leslie in tears—Janice has stolen her Twinkies. She begs Leslie and Jess to beat Janice up “into a... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...Terabithia, Leslie and Jess hold a war council. They strategize about how they can get Janice back without getting in trouble themselves. They toy with the idea of having a teacher... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
The next day, on the bus, Janice Avery stomps down the aisle, her eyes full of hatred. May Belle marvels at the... (full context)
Chapter 7
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...few days later, Leslie comes out to recess and tells Jess that she has heard Janice Avery crying in the bathroom—she can tell it was Janice because the name Willard Hughes... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...doesn’t give him the scoop, however, until they’re safe in Terabithia. Leslie solemnly reveals that Janice's father beats and abuses her. Janice was crying in the bathroom, Leslie says, because Janice... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
Leslie reveals that she advised Janice to pretend like she’d never heard the rumor before in her life and shake it... (full context)