What is the climax for the story called "The Leap" by Louise Erdrich?  

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You unfortunately have broken enotes regulations by asking more than one question - you are only allowed to ask one question per day, so I have edited this question down and will respond to one element - the climax in this story. If you wish to find out the other stages of this story you will need to ask more questions.

It is important to remember that this story can be quite confusing for readers to understand because it employs a technique called flashbacks, when the narrator looks back at events in her life and the action jumps between these different times. The climax of the story actually occurred in the past, and the narrator is looking back and telling us about what happened. The climax of the story is clearly when the house caught fire and it looks as if the narrator is not able to escape and will die:

Outside, my mother stood below my dark window and saw clearly that there was no rescue. Flames had pierced one side wall, and the glare of the fire lighted the massive limbs and trunk of the vigorous old elm that had probably been planted the year the house was built, a hundred years ago at least. No leaf touched the wall, and just one thin branch scraped the roof. From below, it looked as though even a squirrel would have had trouble jumping from the tree onto the house, for the breadth of that small branch was no bigger than my mother's wrist.

It is this climax, when the narrator is apparently facing certain death, that gives the mother the opportunity to use her amazing agility and talent as a trapeze artist to make "the leap" that a squirrel would have struggled to make and rescue her daughter. Now I have identified the climax for you, go back and see if you can identify the other elements of the story. Good luck!

jdmalloy17's profile pic

jdmalloy17 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

there is no way that is correct.  The fire is not the major conflict as it is a part of the flashback and thus cannot be the climax

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