The Leap Questions and Answers
by Louise Erdrich

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Why is "the leap" a good title for this story? and also the other question is: What are the many ways in which the narrator's mother displays courage? What do her actions imply about her character?

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"The Leap" is a good title for this story because of the many leaps, both literal and figuartive that take place in the story.  The first leap that takes place is literal; this occurs when the narrator's mother leaps from the trapeze rope in the burning circus tent to save her life.  The second leap is more figurative -- this is the leap of faith that the narrator's mother takes when she begins a relationship with the doctor that she met while recovering at the hospital.  The final leap is also literal in that the mother jumps from the tree outside of her daughter's room in order to save her from the burning house. 

The narrator's mother shows her courage as she performs each of these leaps throughout the story. Her actions imply that she is independent, has a high self-worth, and puts her daughter's life before her own.  This woman stared death in the face twice and was not afraid to do what she had to do in the face of adversity. 

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