Bridge to Terabithia

by

Katherine Paterson

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Mr. Aarons Character Analysis

Jess, May Belle, Brenda, Ellie, and Joyce Ann’s father. A hardworking man who drives into Washington, D.C. to work each day, since there are no jobs to be had in the Aarons’ small, rural town in Virginia. Jess’s father is often irritable and cagey, and he is especially hard on Jess, whom he worries is not growing up to be masculine enough. Jess’s father discourages Jess from pursuing his love of art and teases him for spending all his free time with a girl—but as the novel unfolds and tragedy unspools, Mr. Aarons begins to soften, and eventually comes to Jess’s aid after Leslie’s death. Mr. Aarons’s tough exterior masks a more emotional inner life—one that has, it seems, been beaten down by the difficult demands of scrounging up menial work for little pay. Just like his wife, Mr. Aarons wishes he could provide better for his family.

Mr. Aarons Quotes in Bridge to Terabithia

The Bridge to Terabithia quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Aarons or refer to Mr. Aarons. 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 2 Quotes

“Daddy!” May Belle screamed with delight and started running for the road. Jess watched his dad stop the truck, lean over to unlatch the door, so May Belle could climb in. He turned away. Durn lucky kid. She could run after him and grab him and kiss him. It made Jess ache inside…

Related Characters: May Belle Aarons (speaker), Jess Aarons, Mr. Aarons
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

[Jess] wasn’t comfortable having Leslie at his house either. […] Brenda and Ellie always made some remark about “girl friend.” His mother acted stiff and funny [and] later she would refer to Leslie’s “tacky” clothes. […] Her hair was “shorter than a boy’s.” Her parents were “hardly more than hippies.” […] His father had seen Leslie only a few times and had nodded to show that he had noticed her, but his mother said that she was sure he was fretting that his only son did nothing but play with girls, and they both were worried about what would become of it.

Page Number: 58-59
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bridge to Terabithia PDF

Mr. Aarons Character Timeline in Bridge to Terabithia

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Aarons appears in Bridge to Terabithia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...dad, who commutes back and forth to Washington each day. Even when he’s home, though, Mr. Aaron s is too tired to do anything with Jess at all. Just at that moment,... (full context)
Chapter 5
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...school as a snack—she is excited about them, as they are a rare treat that Mr. Aaron s has brought back from Washington, and she brags to her friends about them on... (full context)
Chapter 6
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...receives a racing-car set. Jess struggles to set the thing up—much to his father’s dismay. Mr. Aaron calls the toy a piece of “junk” and nearly kicks it. As the day dissolves... (full context)
Chapter 8
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...one. Mrs. Aarons tells Brenda and Ellie that she’ll take them shopping soon—but one afternoon, Mr. Aaron s brings home the news that he’s been laid off from work. Brenda and Ellie... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...around the barn, squirting milk at each other and having a laugh, they don’t notice Mr. Aaron entering. As soon as Jess sees his solemn father, he bids Leslie goodbye and follows... (full context)
Chapter 10
Gender Roles Theme Icon
In the morning, Jess wakes to the sound of his dad’s pickup truck. Mr. Aaron s has been going out each morning looking for odd jobs, desperate to continue bringing... (full context)
Chapter 11
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
...whirling about in his head. His mouth feels dry, and he can’t understand what’s happening. Mr. Aaron s speaks up and says that Leslie was found in the creek, dead. Jess insists... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...pulls his sneakers on and hurries to the kitchen, but his mother tells him that Mr. Aaron s is already taking care of Miss Bessie. Mrs. Aarons asks Jess if he wants... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
Mr. Aaron s comes in from milking Miss Bessie. As he passes Jess’s chair, he puts a... (full context)
Chapter 12
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Mr. Aaron s and Mrs. Aarons walk Jess over the Burkes’. They knock at the front door—Jess... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Mr. Aaron s comes up behind Jess and tells him he’s done a “damn fool thing.” Jess,... (full context)
Chapter 13
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...and Judy give Jess all of Leslie’s books and art supplies, and then Jess and Mr. Aaron help the Burkes load up the U-Haul. After the truck is packed, Bill asks Jess... (full context)