The Leap Questions and Answers
by Louise Erdrich

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In "The Leap," what are the many ways in which the narrator's mother displays courage? What do her actions imply about her character?

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In "The Leap," the narrator's mother, Anna, displays courage in a number of ways:

  • She showed courage by working in a dangerous job while seven months pregnant. Moreover, when lightning struck the tent she was performing in, she had the courage to grip onto a wire, which burned her hands, but protected the life of her unborn child.
  • After marrying the narrator's father, Anna decided to stay in the same town where the accident took place and where she was constantly reminded of the death of her first child.
  • Anna rescued her daughter (the narrator) from a house fire by climbing up a tree and leaping into her bedroom. In doing this, she not only risked her safety, but also her reputation because the climb required her to remove her clothing.

What these examples demonstrate, above all, is Anna's devotion to her children. She would do anything to protect the lives of her children, even if that means putting her own life in potential danger.

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