Through the Tunnel Questions and Answers
by Doris Lessing

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Please help me with the following question about "Through the Tunnel." Retell the main events of this story as Jerry might tell them to his best friends when he returned from vacation or to his own son later in life.

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With respect, you are asking two different questions. What I think your teacher is after is a demonstration of how two write two different accounts of the same event. Clearly, the way that Jerry would re-tell what occurred to him during his vacation to his friends will be very different from the way he would explain what happened to him if he were to tell his son what happened to him when he was an adult. You need to think about how these changes would be demonstrated through word choice, the kind of phrases and grammar used and the way Jerry would explain the event.

If you choose to write re-tell the story from Jerry's perspective to his friends, he will obviously use slang and exaggeration to boast about what he achieved. Be prepared to exaggerate the description of the rocks and how dangerous swimming through the tunnel was. I imagine that if you re-tell the story from Jerry's point of view as an adult, he will be much more thoughtful and meditative about its significance to him, and wouldn't exaggerate or be so boastful. He will also want to stress how dangerous it was to his son so that he doesn't get any ideas of doing something similar!

This is a very interesting assignment which will require you to show your understanding of how audience impacts your writing. Thinking through this issue will help you structure your work. Good luck!

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