Through the Tunnel

by Doris Lessing
Start Free Trial

In the short story, Through the Tunnel, what descriptive are given about the tunnel?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

On the first occasion that Jerry finds the tunnel, the narrator describes it as "an irregular, dark gap" into which Jerry really could not see.  When he tried to push himself into the tunnel, he found that he had to turn to the side in order to fit his shoulders...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

On the first occasion that Jerry finds the tunnel, the narrator describes it as "an irregular, dark gap" into which Jerry really could not see.  When he tried to push himself into the tunnel, he found that he had to turn to the side in order to fit his shoulders in, and he got "inside as far as his waist.  He could see nothing ahead."  Just then, something "soft and clammy touched his mouth" and he panicked, thinking about octopuses and weeds that might entangle him.  Jerry backed out of the tunnel then and saw "a harmless tentacle of seaweed drifting in the mouth of the tunnel."  At this point, he called it a day.

When Jerry eventually does swim through the tunnel, it is described as a "small rock-bound hole filled with yellowish-grey water."  The water pushed his body up to the roof of the tunnel, and the roof was "sharp and pained his back."  As he swims along, the roof begins to feel "slimy as well as sharp."  He continued, and the tunnel seemed to widen, and the water became a "clear jewel-green" due to a crack in the rock above him.  It became dark again and then there was "an explosion of green light" as he reached the tunnel's end.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team