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Through The Tunnel

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Through the Tunnel- critical Evaluation Choose a short story which deals with the theme of leaving childhood behind and shows how the author puts across this theme by using the craft of the short story. I have chosen to write about a short story which deals with the theme of leaving childhood behind. It is called "Through the Tunnel" and was written by Doris Lessing. There is a contrast between the two main settings, the bid, crowded safe beach and the wild, rocky bay. Jerry grows tired of the big safe beach. He notices a wild, rocky bay which intrigues him. The boy and his mother are on holiday in the south of France. They have a villa that they go to every year. Jerry has always gone to the safe beach with his mother. "The crowded beach he knew so well from other years". As they walk down the path towards the crowded beach jerry stopped at a turning in the path and glanced down at the wild and rocky bay. Throughout the story the bay is described as being dangerous and unsafe. ...read more.


As soon as she had bought the goggles, he grabbed them from her hand as if she were going to claim them for herself, and was off, running down the steep path towards the bay". Jerry is an only child who is 11 years old, his father had died and he lives with his mother. The task of jerry swimming through the tunnel is like rites of passage. It can be meant in both a literal and a metaphorical way. It could be meant in the sense that a journey is made through the tunnel from an immature child to a mature adolescent. Jerry begins to show his mature side after receiving the goggles. "Jerry exercised his lungs as if everything, the whole of his life, all that he would become, depended upon it". He begins to show maturity by controlling his breathing and being independent. By the end of the story jerry shows a whole new mature side to his behaviour. "It was no longer of the least importance to go to the bay". ...read more.


The colours give a sense of danger. Similes used in the story help create an image in our heads and something to relate the words to. "Feeling the pleading grin on his ace like a scar he could never remove". This simile compares jerry's embarrassment to a scar. This shows that he jerry felt so embarrassed that it might never go away. "He began splashing and kicking in the water like a foolish dog". This simile compares jerry's immaturity and attention seeking to that of a foolish dog. It shows that he was leaping around in a clumsy way. Short simple sentences increase pace and add to the tension of whether or not he will be successful. "The water palled. Victory filed him". Short sentences are effective because they add to the suspense of the story. Repetition is used near the end of the story when jerry is in the tunnel. "A hundred and fifteen, a hundred and fifteen pounded through his head". The repetition adds suspense. We begin to wonder if jerry will make it or give up. I think that the short story "Through the Tunnel" by Doris Lessing, does deal with the theme of leaving childhood. Doris Lessing puts this across effectively by using the craft of the short story. ...read more.

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