Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

Start Your Free Trial

In at least 150 words, identify a theme in "Through the Tunnel" and explain how the setting of the story contributes to that theme.

Expert Answers info

Ian Sawyer, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCurrent Graduate Student

bookB.A. from Ithaca College

bookPh.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


calendarEducator since 2019

write47 answers

starTop subject is Literature

"Through the Tunnel" is a coming-of-age story of sorts, and as such, one of its primary themes is the innocent child coming to terms with his own mortality. Therefore, there could hardly be a better setting than the open water, a wondrous but dangerous space where children can both play and be in extreme peril.

Even before we see our protagonist getting himself into dangerous situations, Lessing gives us the following description of the sand and the water:

He went out fast over the gleaming sand, over a middle region where rocks lay like discolored monsters under the surface, and then he was in the real sea—a warm sea where irregular cold currents from the deep water shocked his limbs.

Although this quotation gives us a sense that the beach is quite beautiful, it also comes off as rather frightening. After all, the rocks are described as "discolored monsters," and the water rather violently interacts with Jerry's body by shocking his limbs.

This is not the only quote we are given...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 814 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,732 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial