Why is "The Leap" a good title for Louise Erdrich's short story? 

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"The Leap" is an appropriate title for Erdrich's short story. A few leaps take place during the narrator's account of her life and that of her mother's. The first physical leap takes place at the beginning of the story. Anna, of the Flying Avalons, literally leaps to a...

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"The Leap" is an appropriate title for Erdrich's short story. A few leaps take place during the narrator's account of her life and that of her mother's. The first physical leap takes place at the beginning of the story. Anna, of the Flying Avalons, literally leaps to a hot wire during the trapeze act in an attempt to save her life and that of her unborn child. Her husband is killed in the accident, and she also loses the child. This leap is both physical and emotional. Anna loses her family and must find a way to recover. However, Anna leaps again on an emotional level during her hospital stay. She learns how to read and write, and she becomes a book lover. Anna has leapt from illiteracy to literacy. As well, she leaps into love with her second husband who will become the narrator's father. Anna's last physical leap is to save the narrator's life, her daughter. She leaps into the burning house to rescue the narrator. This leap is emotional as well, because Anna has relied upon her will to survive and her love for her daughter to complete this rescue.

The narrator also takes an emotional leap in returning to the house of her mother when she is blind. Ironically, Anna begins the story blindfolded in her trapeze act, and she ends the story blinded by cataracts. The narrator returns to take care of her mother and read to her. Both characters take leaps of faith in their relationship.

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Louise Erdrich's short story the "The Leap" possesses an appropriate name based upon the action of the story. The first person narrative tells of the three times the narrator's mother saved her (the narrator's) life. The story tells of the mother's time as a trapeze artist and how she came to jump off of a trapeze blindfolded. This leap off of the trapeze set numerous things in motion for the mother of the narrator. Anna, the narrator's mother, leaped from her trapeze blindfolded at the same time a lightening bolt hit the tent. Anna ended up in the hospital, lost both the baby she was carrying and her husband, and met her future husband. It seems that this leap, the one which took the life of Anna's baby and her husband, was the one leap which changed her life forever. Therefore, the title of the text is utterly appropriate. It (the title) speaks to the singular event which all others followed. 

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