Through the Tunnel Questions and Answers
by Doris Lessing

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Would you have made the same decision Jerry did in "Through the Tunnel"?

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The same decision to swim through the tunnel in the rock promontory?! Absolutely not! Jerry risks his life trying to prove to himself and the older French boys that he is a "man," and the French boys don't even care whether Jerry can swim through the tunnel or not. This is precisely the kind of poor decision-making Jerry's widowed mother is fearful of when her impulsive eleven-year-old begs for greater freedom and independence.

Jerry nearly dies in the tunnel, losing consciousness as he counts the number one hundred and fifteen over and over again, and all because he put himself up to something disastrously dangerous and hardly worth doing. What does he gain from the experience? Nothing but the feeling of almost drowning and fearing that his eyeballs have burst from the pressure underwater. I certainly would not make the same decision as Jerry.

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