Comparison between Anna Avalon and Her Daughter Essay About the short story, ``The Leap``

Essay by MAKER33High School, 11th grade March 2009

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Anna Avalon and her daughter have been through a lot in there life times. From bad weather causing the death of two loved ones and burning houses, they have survived it all. They both have interesting stories to tell. Anna’s daughter has grown up admiring her mom and wanting to be like her, she has not accomplished this, but she has not been given the chances to. She may feel guilty about not being like her mother because as she says she owes her existence three times to her. She also is realizing things about herself and her mother that she had not known before; she is growing, and becoming wiser. And finally she makes an attempt to show her mother that she is similar to her by coming back, she made a leap into a new life, just as her mother did.

Anna Avalon’s daughter feels guilty about not being clearly like her mother, she feels that she owes it to her mom be like her.

The reason for this is; the whole story is based on the fact that she owes her existence to her mom three times. She feels that if it weren’t for her mom’s actions she would not be able to tell her tale, as she is now. This would inspire her to be like her mom, when the truth is she has not been given the same opportunities as her mother. She tries to compensate this by doing something her mother did, taking the leap from her current life back to her mom and her now, new life. This is what her mother did after her circus days ended.

As Anna Avalon’s daughter gets older and grows in more ways than one; she realizes that she may be more like her mother than she ever knew. In the story she explains about her sister’s tombstone and she explains that she sees her sister as an unfinished version of her self. The tombstone itself is a symbol of Anna’s unborn child and the unborn child is a symbol of Anna’s daughter herself. If you can connect the dots, this would make the tombstone a symbol of Anna’s daughter. She goes onto describe that the tombstone is growing over time, this is translated as that Anna’s daughter is also growing over time as well, and becoming more and more wise and realizing things about her mother and herself that she never knew before.

The title, “The Leap,” can mean more than one thing; its literal meaning is obviously referring to the two leaps that Anna makes from the tree to her burning house and during the trapeze act that went wrong. It also has a figurative meaning, and as with the literal meaning there are two examples of it. The first one is the leap that Anna Avalon makes from when her circus days ended and into her new life with her new husband she met while in the hospital. This is a big leap because she enters a new life, one that she has never seen or known before that time. The second example is Anna Avalon’s daughter and the leap that she makes from her life where the land is flat to her childhood home where she is helping her mother. This leap is made because she sees that her mother was capable of making a leap into a new life and thus inspiring her to do the same.

Anna’s daughter has a long life to live, and has many things to accomplish, her mother has lived a full life, and has accomplished many things. Throughout her life Anna’s daughter will realize that she is more like her mother than she ever knew possible. This starts with her return to her mom from her old, “failed life, where the land is flat,” and the leap she took back to her mom and new life, just as her mom did. She also returned because she felt that she had something to prove to herself and mom, and she did prove that. Although she has not yet been given the chances necessary to prove to herself that she is her mother’s daughter, she will be able to accomplish this in time.

Sources UsedEdrich, Louise. The Leap.