In "Through the Tunnel," what does the tunnel symbolize to Jerry?

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At first, the tunnel is simply something that is in his way of his friendship with the native boys where he is vacationing. However, as the story progresses, the tunnel becomes an obstacle that he must overcome for his own self-esteem. Once his is able to get through the tunnel...

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At first, the tunnel is simply something that is in his way of his friendship with the native boys where he is vacationing. However, as the story progresses, the tunnel becomes an obstacle that he must overcome for his own self-esteem. Once his is able to get through the tunnel on his own, "He could see the local boys diving and playing a half mile away. He did not want them." Knowing that he can work hard and overcome an obstacle in life is enough for Jerry.

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