Through the Tunnel Questions and Answers
by Doris Lessing

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How is the tunnel in Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel" a symbol?

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Clearly the major symbol in this story, the tunnel and Jerry's passage through it, is linked to the theme, which is the transition from the state of being a child to being an adult. What is important to focus on is how the theme is developed through the use of the symbol of the tunnel in this excellent short story. By the end of the story Jerry has gone through a journey from childhood to manhood, symbolised most stridently in his journey through the tunnel.

At the beginning of the story we are introduced to a character who is on the cusp of adolescense, and very clearly feels responsible for his mother due to their enforced intimacy. Yet despite his feelings of responsibility towards his mother, he nonetheless feels drawn to the "wild beach", which is away from the "safe beach" and his...

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