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Notes for Doris Lessing's “Through the Tunnel”


									            Notes for Doris Lessing’s “Through the Tunnel”

The tunnel is a symbol for transition – in this case from child to more
mature child.

Jerry is a dynamic character. His internal conflict between loyalty to his
mother and independence from her is resolved when he proves to
himself that he can, without her help or approval from her or the native
boys, move through the tunnel – for himself.

One major theme in the story is about growing up. A child’s movement
from one level of maturity to another is often marked by an event or

The setting is significant because it portrays the protagonist’s internal
conflict in an external way.

      Beach = safety, mom, young child

      Bay = independence, risk

The native boys serve as literary foils to Jerry’s mom and Jerry himself.
Their experience and inhabitations highlight innocence and lack of
experience. They also serve as an external motivator for Jerry’s

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