The Tiger in the Tunnel

by Ruskin Bond
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What are two incidents that show Baldeo's and Tembu's responsibility in "The Tiger in the Tunnel" by Ruskin Bond?

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Baldeo is responsible because he takes up another job in order to provide for his family. Farming in the small rice fields barely produced enough for their sustenance, and the job as a railway station watchman was a good opportunity for Baldeo to earn some income.

Baldeo shows responsibility because he performs his duties diligently. Despite working cold nights and facing the threat of dangerous wild animals, Baldeo always reported to work and performed his task. He ventured out at night to ensure the signal lamp was alight.

Tembu shows responsibility by escorting his father to work at the station. He later takes up his father’s position after his father is killed by the marauding tiger. He understands that the job is important both to his family and the railway company.

Tembu is also responsible because he helps with the chores back home.

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Baldeo carrying out his job as the night watchman and Tembu continuing his father's work represent an embrace of responsibility in "The Tiger in the Tunnel."

When Baldeo has to report for his duty as the night watchman, it is very cold. Baldeo leaves "the warm corner" of his hut in order to go out to a station "in name only."  As he walks to his job, he reflects on the dangers that await him.  He was walking through a placed filled with "eeriness." This feeling was enhanced by the "the wild animals he might encounter," such as "the man-eater" tiger.  Baldeo does not succumb to these fears.  He embraces the discomfort of the setting because he knows he has to do his job.

Tembu shows responsibility in continuing his father's work.  Tembu does not shy away from assuming responsibility for his family.  He understands that "life had to go on" despite the pain he feels over his father's death. Tembu recognizes that "a living had to be made and all the responsibility now fell" on his shoulders.  While he is filled with sadness, Tembu resumes his father's duties and becomes the new night watchman.  He carries his father's axe to further enhance the sense of responsibility he feels as the family's primary earner.  

Both father and son display responsibility in how they set aside personal feelings in order to do their jobs.

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