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In Doris Lessing's short story, "Through the Tunnel," what are the symbolic meanings of...

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brecarter | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 19, 2007 at 4:20 AM via web

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In Doris Lessing's short story, "Through the Tunnel," what are the symbolic meanings of each beach & the tunnel & how is the tunnel significant to Jerry?

What two passages from the book can you relate for each setting?

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted February 20, 2007 at 2:34 AM (Answer #1)

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This is basically a coming of age story. The beach represents the area for children and those constrained by childhood, Jerry says it is: "a place for small children, a place where his mother might lie safe in the sun."

The tunnel represents the passage towards adulthood and growing up. Another symbol is Jerry's ability to hold his breath, proof that he has control over his body and can navigate dangerous areas.

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