Bridge to Terabithia

by

Katherine Paterson

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Mrs. Aarons Character Analysis

Jess, May Belle, Brenda, Ellie, and Joyce Ann’s mother. Often frazzled, worried, and overworked, Mrs. Aarons struggles to balance housekeeping and her motherly duties. Jess often feels that his mother likes his sisters better than him, treating him harshly and unfairly—but as the novel unfolds, it becomes clear that Mrs. Aarons is simply doing her best to play the hand she’s been dealt in life and wrestling with the crushing pressure and sadness of not being able to give her children everything they want and need.

Mrs. Aarons Quotes in Bridge to Terabithia

The Bridge to Terabithia quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Aarons or refer to Mrs. 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 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:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 9 Quotes

For Jess the fear of the crossing rose with the height of the creek. Leslie never seemed to hesitate, so Jess could not hang back. But even though he could force his body to follow after, his mind hung back, wanting to cling to the crab apple tree the way Joyce Ann might cling to Momma’s skirt.

Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 11 Quotes

“Well, Momma, he’s just sitting there eating pancakes like nothing happened. I’d be crying my eyes out.”

Ellie was looking first at Mrs. Aarons and then at Brenda. “Boys ain’t supposed to cry at times like this. Are they, Momma?”

Related Characters: Brenda Aarons (speaker), Ellie Aarons (speaker), Jess Aarons, Leslie Burke , Mrs. Aarons
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Mrs. Aarons Character Timeline in Bridge to Terabithia

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Aarons appears in Bridge to Terabithia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...his sweaty stink and beg their mother to force Jess to wash up. While eating, Mrs. Aaron s tells her children that there are chores that need doing. Brenda and Ellie protest... (full context)
Chapter 2
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...be home from shopping by seven, don’t return by the appointed time. As a result, Mrs. Aaron s is short-tempered, taking all her rage out on Jess. Jess fixes sandwiches for himself,... (full context)
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Mrs. Aaron s calls Jess out of his room, reminding him to go milk Miss Bessie again.... (full context)
Chapter 4
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Jess doesn’t feel comfortable bringing Leslie to his house, either. Mrs. Aaron s acts strange around Leslie (and privately talks judgmentally about Leslie’s clothes, wild hair, and... (full context)
Chapter 6
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...Christmas approaches, Ellie and Brenda become “obsessed” with buying presents for their boyfriends at school. Mrs. Aaron s attempts to remind them that there’s not enough money to spare for such things.... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Brenda expresses jealousy over Ellie’s gifts and Joyce Ann breaks one of her new toys. Mrs. Aaron s sends Jess outside to milk Miss Bessie. Out in the yard, he runs into... (full context)
Chapter 8
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...family only goes once a year on Easter, and the visit is a big one. Mrs. Aaron s tells Brenda and Ellie that she’ll take them shopping soon—but one afternoon, Mr. Aarons... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
In the end, Mrs. Aaron is able to scrounge up enough money to buy all the girls in the family... (full context)
Chapter 10
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...his parents’ room and tells his mother that he’s going to Washington for the day. Mrs. Aaron s, still asleep, barely answers, but Jess takes her grunts as good enough as permission.... (full context)
Chapter 11
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...but his mother tells him that Mr. Aarons is already taking care of Miss Bessie. Mrs. Aaron s asks Jess if he wants some breakfast, and he says he does—he realizes that... (full context)
Chapter 12
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Mr. Aarons and Mrs. Aaron s walk Jess over the Burkes’. They knock at the front door—Jess can immediately hear... (full context)