Through the Tunnel

12 December 2016

Response to literature essay The satisfaction for ones self? Or the satisfaction of others recognizing? The short story “Through the Tunnel”, written by Dorris Lessing, tells us about a boy named Jerry who craves the satisfaction of acceptance. Although, he realizes his self-satisfaction is enough praise. Lessing’s purpose for writing this story is for readers to understand that sometimes you don’t need to have other recognize your achievements to feel good.

That the internal feeling of triumph should be enough for you to feel like you have reached your goal. For example, Jerry, the main character first wants to be like the other boys swimming in the bay, he wants to be able to hang out with them. He soon finds out that all of the boys were swimming through a tunnel in a rock under the water. Jerry thinks that if he can pass through the tunnel, that the boys will accept him as “one of their own”.

Through the Tunnel Essay Example

Eventually after passing through the tunnel, Jerry no longer wants to be accepted by the boys, he felt as if his self-accomplishment of passing through that tunnel, was more than enough. We learn that Jerry is very persistent; he set his mind to passing through that tunnel, and didn’t stop trying until he did it. From the time Jerry entered, to the time Jerry exited the tunnel, his thought process changed, no longer did he crave for the boys acceptance. It became a self-goal for Jerry.

To apply a simple theme such as, your own self-triumph is all that should matter when completing something important to you, to life, is simple. People crave the approval of others to recognize their glory. When really it is as simple as just setting a goal for you, and completing it, then feeling confident enough not to tell anyone. Just the internal feeling of accomplishment is enough for you to be satisfied. Jerry wanted so badly for the boys to accept him as one of their own. After he completes his goal, he realizes that he does not want that anymore.

Lessing reveals her message to the readers through that. With Lessing’s imagery, it gives you a very good idea of what was going on with Jerry physically and emotionally, or mentally. When Jerry first enters the tunnel, Lessing makes it seem as if this will be such an easy task for Jerry, like he will be in and out of the tunnel as the other boys had. The more Jerry swam through the tunnel, the more Lessing’s imagery gave you the impression that Jerry would not make it out of the tunnel.

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Through the Tunnel. (2016, Dec 24). Retrieved January 21, 2022, from
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