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Through The Tunnel Analysis

Decent Essays
“Through the Tunnel”, written in the early 50’s by Doris Lessing, is a short story filled with literary devices that create a coming of age story. On the surface, the story is about a boy named Jerry, an eleven-year-old boy, who is being raised by his widowed mother. They are on vacation on a beach at their usual annual spot. Jerry is faced with a challenge he desperately wants to overcome, by any means necessary. Doris Lessing uses symbolism and bildungsroman to portray the theme of coming of age. To begin, Doris Lessing uses many literary devices throughout the story to develop the theme. To be specific, symbolism plays a major role in the evolution of the characters and the story. For example, Lessing introduces one setting that Jerry, the main character, sees as childish and unfitting for him. Then immediately Jerry has his eyes set on “the bay,” where the jagged rocks and crashing waves shows to be for a grown man. Lessing writes, “...he looked over his back shoulder at the wild bay, and all morning, as he played on the safe beach, he was thinking of it (Lessing 1).” The two settings described symbolize the two stages of life that Jerry is amidst. The “crowded beach” symbolizes childhood, safety, and dependence on his mother. On the other hand, the “wild and rocky bay” symbolizes risk, maturity, and independence. “Short Story Student Guide,” explains how the symbolism of the beaches creates the exposition(1). Another example of symbolism is the goggles that Jerry
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