In "The Leap," what is the mother's internal conflict?

The mother in "The Leap" faces an internal conflict of whether she should save her daughter from the burning house.

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The internal conflict that the mother faces is the battle she must have gone through in herself when her daughter was trapped inside their burning house. The situation is deliberately paralleled to the first time that she saved her daughter's life, when she lost her daughter's father. In spite of...

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her mother's "cat-like precision" and incredible skill, it must have been incredibly difficult and challenging for the mother to keep her cool and remain calm whilst watching the flames eat up more of the house and threaten her only child. Note how the daughter's memories of this event deliberately suggests that her mother's action was similar to what she did in the circus:

I slowly wondered what would happen if we missed the circle or bounced out of it. Then I wrapped my hands around my mother's hands. I felt the brush of her lips and heard the beat of her heart in my ears, loud as thunder, long as the roll of drums. 

The way her mother's heart is compared to the "roll of drums" that would accompany a trick and help to add tension to it suggests strongly the internal conflict that her mother would have faced. Having already lost one person that she loves, she know is threatened with losing a second person, and this is something that would have produced massive internal conflict. 

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

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. 

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