Which leaps in the story are literal and which are figurative?

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In Louise Erdrich's short story, the daughter's account of her mother is categorized by the woman's leaps throughout her life.

Anna Avalon has two literal, physical leaps:

  1. When she was part of the trapeze act The Flying Avalons, a deadly tornado struck while she and her husband Harold Avalon were in midair under a circus tent. As Anna and Harry reached out for each other's hands, lightning struck a main pole of the circus tent, toppling Harry forward. As he swept past Anna in the air, she decided not to fall with him. Instead, she twisted herself around and grabbed the metal pole, which was still hot from the lightning charge. Her hands were severely burned and her arm broken.
  2. During the narrator's youth, her parents were out for the evening one night. A fire started in the kitchen, and it traveled up the stairs toward the narrator's bedroom, preventing the babysitter from being able to reach the girl. But, when the mother returned home, she quickly assessed the situation. Anna took off her dress and climbed a ladder onto a tree whose limb hung over the roof of the house. The mother then leaped through the night air onto the roof. After tapping on the window, the mother instructed her child how to open it. She swung down and crawled through the opening. Then, she and her daughter "flew out the window, toward earth, [her daughter] in her lap, her toes pointed. [They] break through the cold air to the fireman's net."
  3. The other leap was an figurative, intellectual leap. While Anna was in the hospital with her burns and a broken arm, she and the attending doctor fell in love. While she described to him exciting details about all the places she had been, he taught her how to read, and new worlds opened for her.

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