Through The Tunnel
1. What concerns does Jerry’s mother have about raising him?
2. Describe Jerry’s encounter with the local boys. What effect does it have on him?
3. How does Jerry prepare for his task?
4. Briefly summarize how Jerry finally swims through the tunnel.
5. What happens after Jerry passes the test he sets for himself?
6. Describe Jerry’s relationship with his mother at the beginning of the story. How
does it change by the story’s end?
7. What must Jerry prove to himself by swimming through the tunnel?
8. At the end of the story, why is going to the bay ”no longer of the least
importance” to Jerry?
9. What are the two opposing forces in the internal conflict?
10. How does the physical challenge make the internal conflict more exciting?
"Through the Tunnel," Doris Lessing
1. What concerns does Jerry's mother have about raising him?
She is concerned that he is not a safe swimmer.
She is worried that she may be overprotective.
She is concerned that he is not strong enough for rigorous exercise.
2. What effect does the encounter with the local boys have on Jerry?
He avoids that part of the beach.
He is happy that the boys accept him.
He is hurt by the change in their attitude, but he wants to do what they do.
3. What must Jerry prove to himself by swimming through the tunnel?
He must prove to himself that he is not weak.
He must overcome his own fear.
He must demonstrate his intelligence and common sense.
4. How is Jerry's relationship with his mother different at the end of the story?
He accepts her concern for him.
He no longer needs her to do everything for him.
He no longer needs to prove his independence.
5. At the end of the story, why is going to the bay "no longer of the least importance" to
Jerry has proved his courage to the boys.
Jerry has proved his courage to his mother.
Jerry has proved his courage to himself.