Take the Plunge


Q:1     Why and how did the writer jump from the plane?

Or       What was the purpose of the writer in jumping from the plane?

Or       What Details Does Gloria Emerson Provide Of A Plunge From              The  Airplane Into Space?


Gloria Emerson worked in a newspaper office. She wrote about a woman but her stories were free from any thrill or adventure. They did not make much impact on the readers.  Though she also got some awards for her reporting of the New York Times yet she wanted to do something unusual, brave and courageous. She was fed up with common stories of social and romantic content.

She wanted to show men that women are not inferior to them in any matter. That’s why she had written this essay, no doubt to encourage the women of the world. The purpose was to surprise and impress others. So, she chose to jump from an airplane with a parachute. It seemed to her a perfect adventure as it did not require any talent. It is something that women do not usually do. She was anxious to feel the rising of a small plane, taking the plunge in the open atmosphere and then descending slowly under the huge canopy of a parachute. She was assured that parachuting was as safe as swimming. She liked it because; she had little imagination to think of the dangers involved in it.

The writer enjoyed her parachute drop. All her friends were surprised at her success. Moreover, she gave a thrilling story to her newspaper readers. Her purpose in making this jump and writing a good story was fulfilled.


Q:2     Describe the operation of the parachute


The writer tells us in detail how her parachute worked. The 32 feet parachute, with a large cut out hole to let the air escape, was provided to her. It was like a heavy bundle strapped to her back. It could be operated to the right or left with two wooden knobs. It was specially designed to increase lateral speed, slow down the rate of descent and reduce swinging movement. She was wearing jumping suit gloves, helmet, and boots which made him thick, heavy, and slow. In her suit, she looked very awkward. She was instructed on how to open the parachute and how to maintain a swan dive position in the air.

She boarded a Cessna 180 which took her to the height of twenty-three hundred feet. When her turn to jump came, she became nervous and shouted at the drillmaster.  He took her to the door and helped her jump out of the plane. The air knocked her about. Then the parachute opened with a plop and her downward plunge slowed. Her eyes and nose were running. Spit came out of her mouth. Her chin was wet. She wiped everything with her white gloves which looked old and dirty. In this how she managed the working. 208


Q:3   What were the feelings of the writer when she jumped from the plane?

Or       Why did she not want to land after she had jumped? 2010(S)


When the writer’s turn to jump came, she was very nervous and refused to jump. At the force of her instructor, she jumped in the air. As she had jumped, she was spellbound to see the beauty of the atmosphere. She tells us that she had never seen the beauty of the earth and sky and colors that no one described earlier. There was no noise in the air and it was calm. She enjoyed her dive much because now she could handle the knobs of her parachute. She says that it was very exciting to go to the left and right as she wished. She was viewing her target from the space where she had to land, but she didn’t want to land then. Anyhow she landed on her feet and was received by her friend and colleagues. She was presented before General James Gavin who appreciated her very much. The writer felt so much thrilled when everybody was surprised to see her jump. Definitely it was her motive to show her capabilities.

The wind and the noise of the plane had gone away. The calm and peaceful atmosphere was delightful. She saw the vastness of the sky. The earth was covered with colorful designs. She dreadfully liked her stay in the air high over the ground. Everything looked soft and kind. She landed in the sandpit safely. Everyone was surprised at her success

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