What or who is the antagonist of the short story "Through the Tunnel" ?

Expert Answers
ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Through the Tunnel", the original antagonists were the older local boys who taunted Jerry with their ability to swim through the tunnel and escape him. As the story continues, the antagonist becomes Jerry's own body and fear as he gradually learns to hold his breath long enough to go through the tunnel, and metaphorically, into manhood. In a minor way, Jerry's mother could also be seen as an antagonist because he uses her presence to to cling to when he is afraid. However, she does not interfere with her son's determination to go through the tunnel and once Jerry buys his goggles, ( a metaphor for being able to find his way to maturity), she is no longer in the picture. The struggle Jerry faces is with his fear and his lungs.