Through the Tunnel Questions 1. Is Jerry crazy to risk his life, or does he get something important out of his ordeal? Talk about your response. 2. Why do you think it is so important to Jerry to be with the boys on the wild beach? 3. What physical and mental “tortures” does Jerry go through, first as he prepares for his ordeal and then as he swims through the tunnel? 4. A ticking clock is usually good for creating suspense. How does this story use a “ticking clock” to increase our anxiety? 5. What breakthroughs has Jerry achieved by the story’s end? Consider: his conquest of the tunnel His feelings about himself His dependence on his mother 6. What do you this is the main focus of this story- in other words, what would you say is its theme? Consider: what the swim through the tunnel means to Jerry why Jerry no longer feels he has to go to the bay 7. Do you think Jerry’s experience can be viewed as an initiation rite? What similarities and differences can you find between his experience and the coming- of-age rites in other cultures? 8. Check the text to see what you learn about the thoughts and feelings of Jerry’s mother. How would the story be different if she, rather than the omniscient narrator, were telling?
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