Jump Questions and Answers
by Nadine Gordimer

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What is the significance of the title of Nadine Gordimer's "Jump" and what is its theme?

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The title "Jump" refers to two crucial existential leaps of faith that the protagonist makes in the story. In "jumping" over to the other side in this bitter, drawn-out conflict, the protagonist has taken hold of his own existence, actively choosing to create a new identity for himself. This is an act of great bravery as it means leaving behind everything that had previously given meaning to his life. Essentially, he has to start from scratch, embarking upon a potentially long, hard road whose final destination is as yet unknown.

But the jump proves a leap of faith too far for the protagonist. Leaving behind his old identity is one thing, but constructing a new one for himself is a different—and altogether more difficult—matter entirely. The man realizes to his cost that such a leap of faith is not sufficient in itself to create a new life; it is simply the prelude to a series of...

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