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 being and his rite of passage. The tunnel of the large rock under the water out in the "wild bay" symbolically represents this rite because swimming through this long passage requires manly discipline and stamina.
Certainly, an examination of Jerry's behavior when he first witnesses the older boys' feat of diving into the dark water and emerging some time later indicates his immaturity. For instance, after plunging down...
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