Similarly, the most beautiful fantasyland can never really replace true reality.It has its place, but that place is meant to last for a season only.It is not till the very end that he's able to make peace with his fears."He screamed something without words and flung the papers and paints into the dirty brown water He watched them all disappear. "His father pulled Jess over on his lap as if he were Joyce Ann. He feels that he is lost the best part of himself with Leslie.Gradually his breath quieted, and his heart slowed from its wild pace. His father, on the other hand, reverses all his paternal insufficiencies that plague him and Jess through the rest of the book. Aarons has always been a little awkward around his son, undemonstrative and expectant.For hadn't Leslie, even in Terabithia, tried to push back the walls of his mind and make him see beyond to the shining world—huge and terrible and beautiful and very fragile?(Handle with care—everything—even the predators.) "Now it was time for him to move out. It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength.It offers a ray of hope which he sorely needs as he struggles to make the transition between childhood and adulthood in a way that will please everybody.
His family's attempts, conscious and unconscious, to repress this symbolize a much larger issue, their myriad demands of conformity in so many aspects of his life.
And when he takes Jess in his arms "as if he were Joyce Ann," he at last makes up for all the years when he maintained a distance from Jess, believing that a young man didn't need cuddling and coddling. Now it occurred to him that perhaps Terabithia was like a castle where you came to be knighted.
In this time of crisis, Jess's father is shown to be an admirable one, and the suddenly solid relationship between them helps Jess to heal."It was Leslie who had taken him from the cow pasture into Terabithia and turned him into a king. After you stayed for a while and grew strong you had to move on.
Jess's struggle to find himself against the current of his family's expectations of him are crystallized in the above passage."He believed her because here 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."This quote comes in Chapter 4, just after they have finished building their castle stronghold in Terabithia, the first day that they have conceived of the game.