Why is “The Leap” a good title for this story? Name all the leaps, both literal and figurative, that occur in the story.

2 Answers

accessteacher's profile pic

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

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I would also want to focus on how the final leap that ends the story symbolises the love and close relationship that the narrator and her mother share. The way that they are described as being so close together as they fall, and the caresses of love that the mother gives to her daughter, make this an incredibly intimate moment.

bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The title is appropriate because the "leaps" that Anna, the narrator's mother, makes in the story symbolize the choices she makes during her life, choices we all have to make. These decisions affect Anna's life and the lives of her children, even though Anna is unable to save her first child. Because Anna survives, however, she meets her second husband, and he teaches her to read while she's in the hospital, a ritual the narrator continues when she moves back east with her mother.

The two physical leaps are also emotional leaps. The first comes when Anna, seven months pregnant, is performing with her husband, and lightning strikes the tent. Anna chooses to try and save her child rather than die holding on to her husband's ankle, symbolizing her emotional leap. The child is stillborn, and the narrator feels a connection to her throughout the story, considering her a "less finished version" of herself.  The second physical leap occurs when the narrator is trapped by fire in her bedroom upstairs. Anna uses her skills as a trapeze artist to rescue her daughter, symbolizing a leap of faith that she can save this child, and she does.