Through the Tunnel
Question to further Understanding: (in chronological order)
1. The author has packed a lot of information into the opening sentence. What details do
you learn from it (277)?
2. What observations can you make about the relationship between the mother and the
3. What are your thoughts about Jerry (278)?
4. What imagery is used in the middle of the second column (278)?
5. What experience have you had where you felt something similar to what Jerry feels?
6. The setting helps to create the atmosphere of a story. What atmosphere do the
following expressions create: "big dark rock," "heavy blue, dark shapes," "black wall of
rock," and "blank rock" (279)?
7. What is happening in the last two paragraphs of this page (279)?
8. What effect does the repetition of the phrases "At fifty..., At a hundred..., at a hundred
and sixty," have (280)?
9. What are some of the specific phrases that help to create a shift in tone at this point in
the story (280)?
10. How is the dark hole a symbol of the unknown here?
11. What might Jerry finding his way mean on a symbolic level (281)?
12. How does Jerry's mother respond when he has the bad nosebleed (281)?
13. What inferences can you make about Jerry's mother?
14. How does Jerry's attitude, as expressed by the narrator, reflect the internal changes he
is undergoing (281)?
15. What is Jerry going through at the end of the page (281)?
16. How did you arrive at this conclusion for #15?
17. What are the effects of the parallel structure, repetition and use of rhythm in the
passage that begins the page (282)?
18. Jerry is afraid to go and he is afraid not to go. How do explain the qualities some
people have that enable them to accomplish terrifying feats (282)?
19. What type of imagery is used in the last paragraph, first column (282)?
20. What effect does that imagery have?
21. What effect does the sunlight have?
22. What effect do the words "and darkness ahead" have?
23. As Jerry is pitting himself against nature, what element is presenting the greatest
24. Why does Jerry not wish for the local boys to see his triumph (283)?
25. How can something this profound go unnoticed (284)?
26. What effect does the author use of a third-person omniscient narrator have on your
final reaction to Jerry's triumph at the conclusion of the story?
27. How might your reaction at the end have differed had the author had Jerry speaking
or perhaps Jerry's mother speaking?