Name all the leaps, both figurative and literal, that occur in the story "The Leap."

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The narrator in "The Leap," by Louise Erdrich , is the daughter of a former circus acrobat named Anna. The title of this story refers to both Anna’s physical leaps and her figurative leaps. As an acrobat, her routine includes a leap from a trapeze to meet her...

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The narrator in "The Leap," by Louise Erdrich, is the daughter of a former circus acrobat named Anna. The title of this story refers to both Anna’s physical leaps and her figurative leaps. As an acrobat, her routine includes a leap from a trapeze to meet her husband in midair while both partners are blindfolded. This leap itself includes physical and figurative elements: believing that her husband will be there to catch her is itself a leap of faith.

During their final act together, the circus tent pole is hit by lighting, and the electricity runs down the wires. Her husband falls to his death, but Anna is able to save herself. She is hospitalized for the next month and a half and falls in love with her doctor, who teaches her to read and write. Reading becomes a new form of flight for her, and she exchanges “one form of flying for another.”

Anna does leap again, although not as a performer. She leaps from a tree branch to rescue her seven-year-old daughter from their burning farmhouse, saving her life when the firefighters are unable to do so. Anna and her daughter then fly from the window together, landing in the safety net and surviving their brush with death.

There is one more leap in this story, although it is not explicitly labelled that way. The narrator leaves her life behind to move in with her mother, who is now blind and can no longer read. Her move is a leap as well, from her old “failed” life to the role of a caretaker.

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  1. The young, beautiful Anna of the Flying Avalons leaps to a pole that burns her hands, but her fall is broken and she lives when her husband dies because of his fall.
  2. Because of her fall Anna must go to the hospital and have her broken arm tended; while there she falls in love with the doctor, who has her "leap" from illiteracy into literacy
  3. Anna leaps from a tree branch onto the roof of her house where she hangs from the gutter and rescues her daughter.
  4. With the daughter in her arms, Anna leaps to the firefighters net 
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The narrator of the story focuses on her blind mother, who was a circus performer. The first leaps are the ones she took in her act. There are also narrative leaps in the story. For example, the narrator reviews the three times she owed her life to her mother. Her mother had to leap out of danger when her tent was struck by lightening and she was pregnant with a baby that was born dead.
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