Through the Tunnel

by Doris Lessing

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How would Jerry look back on his actions as an adult? (I need 4-5 paragraphs on "Through the Tunnel")

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With an assignment of 4-5 paragraphs, the student is essentially composing a narrative essay which relates incidents and has a clear purpose stated in the opening paragraph with the first person narrator's point of view. For instance, Jerry could be on a seaside vacation with new school friends and one of their parents. As he sits on the beach, one of the teens suggests that they swim over to some large barrier rocks which rather closely resemble those which have the tunnel that Jerry struggled to pass through a few years ago. Realizing that he is now the same age as those boys of the past who thought him juvenile, Jerry remembers old feelings; seeing him so pensive, one of the others asks Jerry about what he is thinking. 

"Oh, I was just recalling how I felt years ago when some older boys were on a diving rock and then they disappeared, only to reappear. When I could not do the same feat, they thought I was stupid. So, I acted a clown, but they weren't impressed. In fact, they left to get away from me. Humiliated I decided to find the gap through which they had swum and try swimming through it to prove that I was not the child they thought I was."

"So did you?" one of the boys asks Jerry.

"After practicing and nearly exploding my lungs, yes" was Jerry's quiet reply. "You know, now that I think about it_______________________________

(put thesis statement here with at least 2 supporting points: because______________________and _______________________Perhaps here Jerry regrets that he attempted something so dangerous on his own where no one could have saved him if he had had difficulties.  Jerry reflects that it was inconsiderate of him to not inform his mother about what he practiced. Nevertheless, he is still proud that he measured up to his own expectations and proved to himself that he could hold his breath and swim through the rock's tunnel. This idea can be introduced by a friend's saying, "You really did it, huh? That's something. How did you feel?"

"I felt older." After my mother complimented me for swimming through the tunnel, but says, "i don't think you ought to swim any more today," Jerry tells his friend that he was so proud that his mother's urging to not swim any more that day did not rile him as it normally would.

"But, now I know I foolishly risked my life to prove that I could swim that tunnel like the older boys."

"You wanna look for another tunnel, Jerry?" his friend asks.

"No," Jerry replies slowly. "I think I was______________________


If the idea of creating a dialogue is not appealing, Jerry could write a letter or postcard to his mother back home, or he could compose a journal entry. As a conclusion, Jerry could sit back from his letter or journal entry and heave a sigh as he reflects how proud he still is now that he accomplished the manly feat.

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