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Themes in Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel".

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Through the Tunnel Essay Everyone at some stage wants to grow up. We all try to act mature at a certain time to impress other people, peers and parents. However when ?growing up? we are faced with challenges that we have to overcome. Doris Lessing is a famous author, known for her short stories. One of her famous stories Through the Tunnel is a rite of passage story about young boy growing up. The main protagonist Jerry is an 11 year old boy presented to us a ?loner?. He faces the challenge of swimming through a tunnel. He eventually overcomes it with persistence and determination. The themes conveyed throughout this story are: to grow up you have to break free, when growing up it is important to gain independence and growing up requires persistence and determination. These themes are supported by characterisation, plot structure and setting. I admire Jerry for his persistence and then success and don?t think I could have done this myself. ...read more.


In his case it is breaking free from his loneliness and being accepted into society but it could be from another person, object or oneself. Another theme that the story teaches us is that growing up requires persistence and determination. Jerry sees the older boys swimming, what he thought to be, through a tunnel. He had a desire to be grown up, like them; so he sets a challenge for himself. To get through the tunnel before he leaves Paris. He manages to overcome the challenge with sheer hard work, persistence and determination. There are two Narrative conventions that help create the theme; these are characterisation and plot structure. Jerry comes back every single day to practice his breathing. ?The day and the next, Jerry exercised his lungs as if every thing, the whole of his life depended on it.? He pushed himself so hard until his nose bled every night he went there. He also demands that he has swimming goggles. ...read more.


?He did not ask for permission, on the following day.? The setting helps create the theme by using contrast. The story refers to the ?safe beach? and ?wild bay?, these are symbolic of his mother and Jerry starting to gain his independence. The safe beach is symbolic of his mother and how she is very protective over Jerry. Whereas the wild bay is symbolic of Jerry and how he is growing up and gaining independence. Jerry and his mother teach us the importance of independence when growing up. I really enjoyed the short story Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing. It is a well-written rite of passage, which teaches parents and children valuable messages conveyed by Jerry and his mother. Examples of these are: to grow up you have to break free, when growing up it is important to gain independence and growing up requires persistence and determination. These themes are created using narrative conventions such as characterisation, plot, structure and setting. I admire Jerry for what he did and can remember some challenges that I set for myself. ...read more.

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