Questions and Answers for Through the Tunnel

Through the Tunnel

What are the internal and external conflicts Jerry faces in "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

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

Explain how Lessing's childhood experiences may have influenced her storytelling in "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

Through The Tunnel Theme

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

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

In "Through the Tunnel," what is the symbolism of these settings: the wild beach, the safe beach, and 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

3 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

In "Through the Tunnel," why is Jerry so determined to swim 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

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

"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

Explain the motivation of Jerry’s mother in “Through the Tunnel” and how her motivation advances the plot of the...

Jerry's mother does not want to be the smothering type; she is worried that because she is the sole parent she has been "keeping him too close" to her. So, she tries to be loving, but provide him...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2016 3:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

In "Through the Tunnel", how has the relationship changed between Jerry and his mother by the end of the story?

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

About the portion of "Through the Tunnel" that describes Jerry's journey through the tunnel. How does word choice...

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

How is Jerry's growth and evolving maturity reflected in his relationship with his mother in "Through the Tunnel" by...

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

What does Jerry's swim through the tunnel symbolize in "Through the Tunnel"?  

Jerry's swim through the tunnel symbolizes a rite of passage from boyhood to young manhood. A coming-of-age story, Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel" uses symbols to represent Jerry's state of...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2016 4:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Through The Tunnel Summary

The story begins on the first day of the holiday of a young English boy and his mother in an undisclosed location, but probably either in France or North Africa. As they walk down to the "safe"...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

What is a simile about the movement of the fish?

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

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

How does Doris Lessing's setting choice affect the themes and the progression of the plot of "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

In "Through the Tunnel, "what kind of relationship do Jerry and his mother have?

"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

What are some examples of word choice that convey the setting in Doris Lessing's short story "Through the Tunnel"?

Word choice is an instrumental technique that Lessing employs in "Through the Tunnel" to heighten the suspenseful mood of the story. Although the action is set on a beach, the area where Jerry...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2020 1:56 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

How does Jerry change throughout the course of the story "Through the Tunnel"? For example, does he mature from a...

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

What is one theme in "Through the Tunnel" and how does the setting of the story contribute to it?

One of the themes in "Through the Tunnel" highlights the developing individualism of a young boy. To that end, the setting in Lessing's story contributes to the development of this theme. Setting...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2015 5:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

How does Jerry prepare for his task of swimming through the tunnel in "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

In "Through the Tunnel," how are the beach and the wild bay different?  

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

Where is the setting of the story "Through the Tunnel"?

Jerry is described early on as a "young English boy," and we learn that he and his mother have traveled to their typical vacation spot, as they are described as heading to the beach "on the first...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2016 11:14 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

What point of view is used in "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

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

What does the beach symbolize in the story "Through the Tunnel"?

Doris Lessing's story "Through the Tunnel" can be understood as a coming-of-age story. Jerry and his mother are on vacation together, and Jerry is a typical, young boy. He loves his mother, but...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2017 5:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Describe the relationship between Jerry and his mother at the beginning of the story "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

What are the conflicts in Through the Tunnel?

There are two major conflicts in this story, one interior and one exterior. Both have to do with the growing maturity of Jerry. Jerry is a young boy when the story opens who has evidently lost his...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2009 9:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

What is the tone of Doris Lessing in "Through the Tunnel"?

Tone is defined as a writer's attitude, or feelings, toward the subject matter or even toward the writer's audience. Tone can be conveyed through a writer's diction and other literary devices...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2015 9:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Describe Jerry's age and family situation in "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

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

What is the climax of "Through the Tunnel"?

The dramatic climax of the story occurs when Jerry reaches the end of the tunnel and makes his way to the surface. Doris Lessing creates tremendous suspense prior to the story's climax. After Jerry...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2009 12:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

How is Jerry's growth and evolving maturity reflected in his relationship with his mother in "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

Why is the bay no longer important to Jerry after he finished swimming in "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

In "Through the Tunnel," what makes Jerry feel humiliated in front of the older boys?

While Jerry is on vacation with his mother, he swims out into the warm sea until his mother is but a yellow speck on the beach. After swimming back to her, Jerry sees some native boys whom he would...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2013 10:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

In the story "Through the Tunnel" by Doris Lessing what two lessons did Jerry learn?

I think Jerry learned more than only two lessons in the story. One lesson that he learned was the importance of training. I think he always knew the importance of training, which is why he...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2016 6:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

What contrast exists between the beach and the bay?

To begin, the beach is identified as "the safe beach"; it is the beach Jerry and his mother have always visited on holiday. It is a place that he associates with his childhood, with safety, and...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2016 2:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

How does Lessing build suspense in the story "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

Describe the boys that Jerry encounters, and trace the change in their attitudes toward him.

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

In what way does Jerry's relationship with his mother complicate his desire to swim though the tunnel?

"Through the Tunnel" is a great coming of age story. It's great because of how relatable the story is to most readers. Jerry isn't going through a coming-of-age adventure that is pure fantasy. His...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2020 1:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

What does Jerry accomplish by swimming through the tunnel in the story "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

What physical challenges does Jerry face in Doris Lessing's short story "Through the Tunnel"?

Rather than go to the beach where he and his mother usually go, Jerry is drawn to a different rocky location. Even to reach that bay, he has to climb over sharp rocks that scrape his feet. Looking...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2019 10:39 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

What are examples of foreshadowing in the short story, "Through the Tunnel" by Doris Lessing?

Several instances of foreshadowing, or hints of what is to come, occur in the exposition of Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel." The story opens as Jerry follows his mother to the beach. In the...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2016 8:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

Why does Jerry cry in "Through the Tunnel"? 

Jerry cries from fear, embarrassment, frustration, and humiliation. At the beach, Jerry gets permission from his mother to swim away from her over by the rocks, a good distance from her. There he...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2016 7:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

What does the wild bay represent for the boy?

For Jerry, the wild bay seems to represent adulthood and maturity. He's a young adolescent, and so it seems natural that he no longer wants to accompany his mother to their usual, "safe beach,"...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2016 4:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

In "Through the Tunnel," why doesn't Jerry tell his mom about swimming 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

What is the exposition of the story "Through the Tunnel"?

The exposition of "Through the Tunnel" is the early part of the narrative that introduces the setting and background information; it is also an introduction to the characters, at least some of...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2017 8:44 am UTC

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

In "Through the Tunnel," what atmosphere is created by the author when using the words and phrases "big rock, heavy...

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

 Why does Jerry give in to his mother's demand at the end of "Through the Tunnel"?

The final words in the story best summarise why Jerry did not challenge his mother's instruction that he should not go swimming any more that day: It was no longer of the least importance to go to...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2017 6:10 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

What is Jerry's goal in "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

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

What does Jerry do that makes the native boys accept him in "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

Why is it so important to Jerry to be with the boys on the wild beach? What significant details does the author...

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

2 educator answers

Through the Tunnel

How does Jerry in through the tunnel change throughout the story? Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel"

Doris Lessing's story has two settings; the "safe beach" on which Jerry's mother sits, and the "wild bay" where the native boys daringly swim through and underwater tunnel. It is in this wild bay...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2011 11:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

Through the Tunnel

What is Jerry’s mother's motivation in “Through the Tunnel”? How does her motivation advance the plot of the short...

Jerry's mother is motivated by her concern that she give Jerry enough freedom, freedom appropriate to a quickly-maturing eleven-year-old boy, but not too much, as too much freedom might be...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2016 9:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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