Through the Tunnel Questions and Answers

Through the Tunnel

Jerry does change significantly from the beginning to the end of the story, but I would not say that he ends up "a confident young man" just yet. Initially, he is anxious to fit in with the big...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2018, 2:57 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

After his rejection by the older native boys, who have perceived him as immature as he splashes foolishly in the water, Jerry sits on the rough rock and cries "openly" because he envies their...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2013, 2:24 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

The usual interpretation is that the "safe beach" represents the comfort and security of Jerry's childhood and his mother and the rocky, "wild beach" represents the unknown adolescent future...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2016, 1:05 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

After Jerry successfully swims through the tunnel, he feels he has accomplished what he set out to accomplish. He has proven his ability - he has demonstrated his "manhood," so the bay is no...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2012, 1:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Like many kids of his age, Jerry wants to be able to do whatever the older boys do. In fact, he views being able to swim through the tunnel in the huge rock as a rite of passage. Initially, for...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2017, 9:40 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

Jerry’s nosebleed causes him to make a wise decision that he immediately goes back on. The nosebleed is severe enough to give him a nasty fright, and he registers the sight of his own blood flowing...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2021, 7:04 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Doris Lessing builds suspense in "Through the Tunnel" by using words with negative connotations and painful imagery to describe Jerry's experience at the "wild bay." Instead of the "safe beach,"...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2016, 12:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Jerry practices for his rite of passage through the tunnel by conditioning himself to be able to hold his breath. He obtains swims goggles and practices going underwater and finding the tunnel so...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2016, 1:08 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Two grayish shapes steered there, like long, rounded pieces of wood or slate. They were fish. He saw them nose toward each other, poise motionless, make a dart forward, swerve off, and come around...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2019, 8:32 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

After his rejection by the older native boys in the wild bay, Jerry's goal is to accomplish what these boys have done by swimming through the underwater tunnel on his own. In this way, he can...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2016, 8:44 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

At the beginning of the story, it is evident that Jerry and his mother have been everything to each other. As a widow and a child who has lost his father, the two are extremely close, and both go...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2020, 10:37 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

I've read this story many times, and my understanding of Jerry's mother has changed as my life's stages have changed. When I was kid, I thought that Jerry's mom was being far too overprotective and...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2019, 9:19 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

In literature, external conflict refers to the struggle a character has with nature or another character. The opposition that the character experiences, adds to the drama. Internal conflict refers...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2017, 10:08 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

Jerry wants to strike out on his own and join in with the other boys as proof that he is old enough to be safe without his mother. When Jerry reaches the rocks, he notices that there is an "edge of...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2017, 11:31 pm (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

One theme of Doris Lessing's short story, "Through the Tunnel," is that growing up is a difficult and sometimes painful process. We see Jerry mature throughout the story, at first nagging and...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2017, 3:10 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

The diction, or word choice, of Doris Lessing's description of Jerry's swim through the tunnel is suspenseful as it creates anticipation of Jerry's successful passage, and the sense of danger is...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2015, 6:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

The first thing we need to know in order to answer this question is a little background on who Doris Lessing was and what her background and childhood were like. Having been born in Persia...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2020, 4:37 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

The relationship between Jerry and his mother at the beginning of the story is pretty typical of children at Jerry's age (eleven) and their parents. His mother is conflicted about how much freedom...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2016, 6:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

"Through the Tunnel" opens with a boy and his widowed mother vacationing at a beach resort to which they have come frequently. Because he has no father, Jerry's mother, perhaps, feels more...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2013, 10:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

The protagonist of Doris Lessing's story, Jerry, is an eleven-year-old English boy at the threshold of puberty whose father has died, leaving him as the only child of his widowed mother. On holiday...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2017, 9:09 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

In getting to the point where he is able to swim through the tunnel, Jerry has vastly improved his feelings about himself and he has greatly reduced his dependence on his mother. When the story...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2010, 2:04 pm (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

When Jerry first encounters these "big boys -- men to [him]," they're described as being "of that coast, all of them burned smooth dark brown, and speaking a language he did not understand. To be...

Latest answer posted February 29, 2016, 2:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

I think you would benefit from looking at the story in much wider terms - certainly the Jerry at the end of the story is very different from the Jerry at the beginning, and you are right to...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2010, 5:41 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Jerry's physical and mental "tortures" are mostly self-imposed, as he embarkes on a dangerous rite of passage during he and his mother's summer stay on the beach. They are on the coast of a foriegn...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2012, 10:18 am (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

The foreign, wild, and rugged setting advances the themes of alienation and maturation. This setting helps to advance the plot since the main character's actions and maturation are connected to the...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2017, 1:58 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

Jerry's having swum through the tunnel is his rite of passage into manhood, and that is enough. By overcoming great obstacles and by facing danger alone, Jerry has acquired greater maturity and...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2017, 12:40 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

I think the atmosphere and mood that is created through those words is a suspenseful, tense, and ominous atmosphere. Dorris Lessing needed to use words like "dark" and "looming" in order to change...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2015, 6:54 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

In "Through the Tunnel," Jerry's mother allows him to explore the bay because she recognizes that he is at an age where it is appropriate that he be granted more freedom and also because she...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2016, 8:32 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Jerry, a boy of eleven, has come to the shore with his mother. She is very protective of him, treating him as the little boy he has always been, although she is aware that he growing up and worries...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2009, 1:50 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

Jerry’s insistence that he needs a pair of goggles relates to his inability to replicate the underwater stunt which the foreign boys he had encountered on the next beach over have been doing. After...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2021, 11:44 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

By swimming through the tunnel, Jerry completes a rite of passage. He also realizes that even though he can do what the big boys can, he still wants to go home and spend time with his mother.

Latest answer posted March 3, 2016, 8:36 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

An excellent swimmer, Jerry is able to dive well, too. The native boys, who have been diving off the rocks in the wild bay themselves, accept and like Jerry when they see him dive. When Jerry...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2016, 5:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Figurative language in literature uses various figures of speech to make a piece more effective. A writer might be trying to be more convincing or impactful, so he or she will use figures of speech...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2021, 10:36 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Jerry says that the beach is "not his beach" because it seems like a place for little kids, and he wants to differentiate himself as an older boy.

Latest answer posted March 3, 2016, 9:19 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

I absolutely think Jerry's experience can be viewed as, at least partly, an initiation rite. According to the French ethnographer who coined the phrase, Arnold van Gennep, a rite of passage has...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2018, 12:37 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

The main plot points of Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel" follow: An English boy (Jerry)and his mother arrive on a beach for vacation. The boy asks for and receives his mother's permission to go...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2010, 1:47 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Lessing creates tension and suspense by using a sort of ticking clock in the climax of this story. Jerry knows that he counted to one hundred and sixty while the older boys swam through the...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2016, 9:54 pm (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

Jerry is not used to being away from his mother. He's only just eleven years of age, and so he has not had a lot of independence or freedom to be on his own yet. He was even somewhat reluctant, as...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2018, 11:32 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

It seems to me that "Through the Tunnel" is a story about an adolescent's struggle with his own identity (or, we could say, his quest to establish his own identity) and his desire to be wanted and...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2010, 10:42 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

Jerry wasn't crazy, but he was very foolish to take such risks. He easily could have drowned in the dark tunnel, and it is reasonable to assume that his body might never have been found. His young...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2009, 5:09 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

This story is written from a third-person omniscient point of view. The narrator knows Jerry's mother's thoughts and feelings. For example, the narrator says, early on, that "She frowned,...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016, 11:02 pm (UTC)

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Through the Tunnel

Jerry's immediate goal is to be able to swim through the tunnel in the rock. He finally has the nerve to separate from his mother and spend some time alone at the "wild bay" instead of the "safe...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2016, 1:34 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

In this story, Jerry's mom seems to be a little bit overprotective, in my opinion. She worries about him a lot and doesn't want him to do things that are not, in her opinion, safe. I would think...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2010, 11:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

"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...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2019, 5:06 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

The beach Jerry has always visited with his mother is very much associated with childhood innocence; even the narrator refers to it as "the safe beach." It is a place without danger where he is...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2016, 1:32 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Jerry is eleven years old when he and his mother vacation in a foreign country. It is a place they have been to before, since the narrator tells us that Jerry knew the crowded beach from years...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2016, 6:56 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

In the beginning of the narrative of "Through the Tunnel," Jerry stays close to his mother, asking permission to part from her, then returning to her after going to the rocky bay; later, he demands...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016, 7:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

"Through the Tunnel" begins with Jerry obediently following his mother to the "safe beach," while he desires to be at the "wild and rocky bay." The next day, he ventures off by himself explaining...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2018, 7:21 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

The older boys that Jerry see at the wild beach play an important role in terms of firstly making Jerry aware that he is still a child and secondly showing him what he needs to do in order to grow...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2011, 9:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

At the beginning of the story, Jerry is torn between exploring the “wild and rocky bay” and spending time with his mother on the “crowded beach he knows so well.” Jerry is only eleven years old. He...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2018, 12:23 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

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