Through the Tunnel Questions and Answers
by Doris Lessing

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Why is it so important to Jerry to be with the boys on the wild beach? What significant details does the author provide to help us understand Jerry's feelings about the boys?

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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 white surf" and the shining movement of water over white sand. Beyond this is the deep blue of the ocean. He races into the water and swims in "the real sea." After he has gone some distance, he looks back for his mother to be sure she is still on the other beach. He swims back to the shore, where "all at once" he feels lonely. Then, Jerry sees the older boys, who strip off their clothes and run toward the big rocks. Jerry feels a strong desire to join this group of boys. "To be with them, of them, was a craving that filled his whole body." Accordingly, Jerry swims closer. Then, one of the boys smiles and waves. "It was enough" for Jerry. He eagerly swims over the rocks near them, and he smiles with "a desperate, nervous supplication." However, when Jerry maintains his smile and does not...

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