What is an example of an internal conflict the mother goes through in the story "The Leap"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An example of an internal conflict occurs during the tragic events of lightning striking the big top where the Flying Avalons are in the midst of their act. Anna Avalon must decide which way she will fall.

The Flying Avalons' act involves wearing blindfolds as Harry launches himself into the air in three swings. He then hangs from the back of his knees upside down, holding out his hands to receive Anna as she dives from her bar. But during one performance, a bolt of lightning strikes the main circus pole and runs down the guy wires just as the pair are in midair. Harry is then thrown from his swing downward into the crowd.

As he swept past her on the wrong side, she could have grasped his ankle, the toe-end of his tights, and gone down clutching him. Instead, she changed direction.

Anna Avalon quickly resolves her inner conflict of whether to die with her beloved husband or to try to save herself. She chooses not to fall with her flying partner, and decides to save herself as she twists her body toward one of the heavy wires. Somehow Anna manages to hang on to this sizzling wire, and although her hands are severely burned, and an overly-excited rescuer breaks her arm in the rescue, she survives.