Why has the narrator returned to her childhood home in "The Leap"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The narrator of Louise Erdrich's "The Leap" returns to her childhood home in order take care of her mother, who has lost her eyesight.

Certainly, the daughter feels that she is obligated to care for her mother. For, she states that she owes her life to her...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The narrator of Louise Erdrich's "The Leap" returns to her childhood home in order take care of her mother, who has lost her eyesight.

Certainly, the daughter feels that she is obligated to care for her mother. For, she states that she owes her life to her mother three times.

  1. If her mother had not saved her own life when the circus tent lightning struck it, the daughter would not have been born.
  2. If her mother had not gone to the hospital where her father cared for her as the doctor, she would not have been born.
  3. If her mother had not rescued her as only she could, the daughter would have died in the house fire.

The narrator has a marvelous mother who heroically saves her daughter's life when the farmhouse catches fire. In fact, only she can effect this rescue because the steps to the bedroom are consumed by fire. So, the mother must climb a tree, go out onto a branch and jump upon the roof, then hang upside down and ask her daughter to open her bedroom window so that she can jump inside. Then, she cradles her beloved child in her arms and together, she and her daughter jump safely into the fireman's net. 

This is the "leap." It is a leap that carries significance to anyone who sees it, but especially for the daughter.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team