Comment on the significance of the last line of "The Leap"?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the fascinating aspects of this story is the way in which the author disrupts a chronological telling of the story with flashbacks and the way in which, at certain points in the text, past and present seem to merge together, deliberately disrupting the chronological flow of the tale. Let us consider the last line, which comes as the narrator recalls being saved from their burning house by her mother as she is held by her and they jump together into the firefighter's net:

I felt the brush of her lips and heart the beat of her heart in my ears, loud as thunder, long as the roll of drums.

Although this is a past memory, the way in which the beating of her mother's heart makes her think of the "roll of drums" deliberately makes us think of the narrator's mother's time in the circus and emphasises the way in which she still has the necessary skill and agility to scale a burning house then leap from a great height into a net below. The dim and distant past is therefore connected to the present and the narrator's memory of what happened to her in her past, forging a bond between the different time frames of this excellent short story.