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what do you think is the most dramatic event in this story? Give details and explain...

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number123 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 15, 2013 at 1:19 PM via web

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what do you think is the most dramatic event in this story? Give details and explain your choice.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 31, 2014 at 3:03 AM (Answer #1)

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In narratives, the most dramatic event is called the climax. For, it is the point of highest emotional intensity and/or suspense in the plot. Usually, the climax occurs near the end of the narrative. In Louis Eldrich's "The Leap," the climax occurs at the point that the daughter/narrator describes the fire which started in her home when she was seven years old. When her younger sister awakened flames blocked her from going upstairs where the narrator was. So, the sister made a call on the phone and ran outside under her narrator's window.

As a dilapidated ladder strikes the house in the neighbors' attempt at rescue, the narrator is awakened. Smelling the smoke, she touches the door and feels the heat of the fire from the other side; so, she stuffs a rug beneath the crack. Outside, her mother and father have returned home only to realize the futility of rescue attempts. Noticing that an old elm tree near the house is also on fire, and a thin branch touched the roof, the narrator's mother tells her husband to unzip her dress, but his fingers are too nervous as he realizes what she contemplates. The mother, then, tears off her dress, standing in her pearls and stockings. Having one of the men lean the broken ladder against the trunk of the tree, she ascends the rungs and crawls along the branch above the thin one that brushes the roof. From a standing position, she leaps from the branch, grabbing the thin one and vaulting onto the roof. Soon, the narrator hears her mother tap on the window, and sees her upside down, hanging from her heels from the new gutter on the roof. The mother instructs the daughter to prop the window open; she clutches her daughter and then leaps, toes pointed toward the fireman's net.

Then I wrapped my hands around my mother's hands. I felt the brush of her lips and heard the beat of her heart in my ears, loud as thunder, long as the roll of drums.

Truly, she owes her life to her mother, for the third time.

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