In the story "Through the Tunnel" by Doris Lessing, what are some questions you might have of the underwater tunnel?Use the details from the text that answer your question.

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From your email I know that you mean questions about the tunnel in Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel,"  so I'll ask a few, answer one, and leave the rest for you to answer. 

First, what does the tunnel represent for Jerry?

Swimming through the tunnel represents maturity and independence to Jerry.  He wants to be independent of his mother, while at the same time he wants to be accepted by the older boys on the beach.  They can swim through the underwater tunnel so he wants to, also.  Doing so, in his mind, raises him up to the level of those older boys.  He pushes himself in a dangerous way, but in the end when he makes it through the tunnel he has proven himself to be both independent and mature.  He is satisfied, as indicated by the fact that when his mother tells him not to go to the beach and expects an argument from him, he does not at all argue.  He has proven his point and doesn't need to go to the beach anymore.

Some questions one might ask about the tunnel that could serve as reading checks might be:

When does Jerry first discover that there is a tunnel?

How does he find it for himself?

How many seconds does he estimate it will take him to swim through the tunnel?  How many does it actually take?

How does Jerry prepare for his attempt to swim through the tunnel?

Those are some questions about the underwater tunnel.  I hope they help. 


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Through the Tunnel

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