What Is The Theme Of Through The Tunnel By Doris Lessing

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Many people face difficult struggles, often gaining valuable life lessons in the end. In Doris Lessing’s “Through the Tunnel,” Jerry, an eleven year old boy, overcomes many conflicts and challenges that lead him to the results of growing up and establishing himself as an individual. Through the use of symbolism and characterization, Lessing suggests that it requires conflict to achieve maturity. Lessing uses symbolism of the tunnel and skin color to illustrate the value of crossing obstacles in life. In the beginning of the story, Jerry goes swimming, and he sees older brown boys playing around. Lessing adds the details of how Jerry was feeling by writing, “They were off that coast; all of them burned smooth dark brown and speaking a language…show more content…
As the story begins, Jerry had wanted to go into the ocean, so he youthfully asked for goggles. Lessing wrote, “‘I want some swimming goggles,’ he panted, defiant and beseeching.” The use of words “defiant” and “panted” expresses Jerry’s childish behavior. Throughout the story, Jerry had worked toward his goal of adventuring through the tunnel. While he was in the tunnel, he had hurt himself leaving bruises and blood stains. In the end of the short story, Lessing wrote, “He rushed to the bathroom, thinking she must not see his face with bloodstains, or tearstains, on it.” This scenario portrays that Jerry was brave. He did not want his mother to see the injuries and become worried. He toughened up and did not tell his mom. Instead, Jerry was attempting to handle the situation on his own. Lessing’s depiction of Jerry from beginning to end indicates how much Jerry has evolved. He went from behaving like a child who was dependent on his mother to a brave boy who independently handled his problems. His transition represents the way people can change immensely through what they have experienced and learned. The way the author developed Jerry’s personality was able to establish the concept of…show more content…
One can learn and achieve their goals from the struggles they overcome. The tunnel was no ordinary tunnel, but rather it represents the challenges that come across in the process of maturing. The color of skin was not only a color but moreover the change in Jerry. His transition from a child to an individual was a way of emphasizing the maturity he had gained by his journey through the tunnel. Everyone has their own tunnel they face, and they have all the power to cross the tunnel with

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