An Independent Journey
And an Unexpected Result
There comes a time in every mans life where he must realize and explore his independence, Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing is a celebration of this realization in a boy named Jerry. Through the Tunnel follows Jerry and his mother on their beachfront vacation. Jerry's mother loves him dearly so when when he asks to go swimming on another remote part of the beach, she is cautious, but agrees “He mustn’t feel he ought to be with me. I must be careful.” When Jerry arrives at the section of the beach he sees a group of boys “burned smooth dark brown and speaking a language he did not understand”. He swims closer to them and they way him over to them but when they realize the language barrier between them, “they proceeded to forget him”. This doesn't bother Jerry though and he follows them around watching them swim. When he sees the boys swim through an underwater passage, he decides to prove himself because "To be with them, of them, was a craving that filled his whole body". So he trains to swim the passage and finally prepares to swim it with two days left in his trip.
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.
After finally completing his challenge, proving that he could take risks, Jerry looks out over the ocean; he sees the boys he once admires and doesn't want to be like them anymore; he realizes that he was his own hero. Through the Tunnel tells an inspiring tale about the journey to independence that I would encourage anyone to read.