“The Leap” by Louise Erdrich Character Sketch of “Anna Avalon” & Significance of Title Echoes 11 pg 190 Anna Avalon • She is... • very humble, modest, and full of quiet determination. She has had to fend for herself all her life and has managed to “land on her feet” every time (literally and figuratively). Anna Avalon • She is... • Very brave/courageous. The narrator provides details of the dangerous nature of her mother’s work as a trapeze artist and of the dangers involved in the heroic act of saving her daughter from the fire. Anna Avalon • She has... • the incredible ability to remain calm and clear-headed during moments of crisis. (ie. re-routing her body in mid-air during the trapeze accident; devising a plan to rescue her daughter when everyone else had given up.) Anna Avalon • She has... • physical grace. (ie. despite being blind, she moves with “catlike precision...has never upset an object or so much as brushed a magazine onto the floor.”) “The Leap” Literal & Figurative Meaning of the Story’s Title Literal • Refers to the “leap” that Anna made to save her daughter from the house fire. It also recalls the “leap” she executed with her partner as a trapeze artist. Possible Figurative Meanings... • The mother’s ability to leap is a sign of her courage in dealing with crisis. • The mother “leaps” in a figurative way into the world of literacy and books as an adult. They become a huge part of her life (narrator has moved home to look after her and “read” to her.) Figurative Meaning con’t: • The narrator has made a “leap” from her possible failed life in the West to a new beginning, returning to her hometown and to a new relationship with her mother.