Hard Work Pays Off
Nothing good in life comes easy. In the story, “Through the Tunnel”, by Doris Lessing, Jerry desires to swim through the tunnel, just like all the older boys. But Jerry knew he could not make it. So he trained as hard and as long as he could to make the swim. “He was incredulous and then proud to find he could hold his breath without strain for two minutes.“
Jerry is on vacation at the beach with his mom. One day, he is allowed to go to another beach, with rocks, on his own. He meets some older, foreign boys who begin diving into the sea off of tall rocks. “All of them were burned smooth dark brown and speaking a language he did not understand.” The older boys dive through a tunnel at the bottom of the sea, and they abandon Jerry as soon as they realize he can’t do it. “They were leaving to get away from him.” So Jerry decided to train as hard as he could to make it through the tunnel, or die trying.
He must go on into the blackness ahead, or he would drown. His head was swelling, his lungs cracking. A hundred and fifteen, a hundred and fifteen pounded through his head, and he feebly clutched at rocks in the dark, pulling himself forward, leaving the brief space of sunlit water behind. He felt he was dying. He was no longer conscious. He struggled on in the darkness between lapses into unconsciousness. An immense, swelling pain filled his head, and then darkness cracked with an explosion of green light. His hands, groping forward, met nothing; and his feet, kicking back, propelled him out into the open sea.
“Supposing he turned dizzy in the tunnel? Supposing he died there, trapped?” Jerry knew the stakes that were high. He knew that he may die in the tunnel. He knew that he needed to push his body to the absolute limit. So he did. And he came out of the tunnel victorious. No worthy achievement in life is effortless.