The short story "The Leap" by Louise Erdrich is narrated by a woman whose mother used to be Anna of the Flying Avalons, part of a trapeze act in a circus. The narrator writes that "I owe her my existence three times." She then goes on to describe...
The short story "The Leap" by Louise Erdrich is narrated by a woman whose mother used to be Anna of the Flying Avalons, part of a trapeze act in a circus. The narrator writes that "I owe her my existence three times." She then goes on to describe three events in which her mother saves her life.
The rising action in a story is comprised of a series of incidents that lead up to the climax. In "The Leap," the climax is when the mother uses her acrobatic skills to rescue the narrator, her daughter, from a house fire. The two major events that occur before that would be those that you are looking for as answers to this question.
In the beginning of the story, her mother is old and blind. However, her skill and balance in navigating the house despite her handicap makes the narrator recall her mother's earlier expertise on the trapeze. From this she is led to reminisce about these key events.
The first event takes place during the last performance of the Flying Avalons. Lightning strikes while Anna and her husband are performing. Her husband is killed and so is the unborn child in Anna's womb, but the narrator's mother manages to save herself by pulling off her blindfold and grasping for a wire still hot from the lightning. She is able to ride this safely down to the ground.
The second event that the narrator claims is responsible for her existence, which would also be considered part of the rising action of the story, is the meeting in the hospital of her mother and father. He is a doctor who comes in to look at her broken arm. She has been illiterate, and he teaches her to read and write. When she is healed, they move to the old farm where the climax of the story takes place.
The house catching fire is a third event that is part of the rising action. However, the thrilling rescue of the narrator by her mother is the climax, so it would not be included in a list of rising action incidents.