22 October 2017
Through the Tunnel: Did Jerry Experience the Rite of Passage?
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible,” the American author Orison Swett Marden once said. In the passage Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing, Jerry, a young boy, has interest in achieving a high goal he set for himself. Once he made the decision, his goal was to successfully go through a tunnel in deep water. Planning what is going to be done is painless, but performing the goal without any worries proves difficulties. During the duration of Jerry setting such a high goal for himself, he experienced the rite of passage by successfully accomplishing what he started, coming of age, and receiving insight about life and himself.
Jerry noticeably grew up within the time period of his life when figuring out a way to go through the tunnel, because he made an adult-like decision to set such a high goal for himself. In the course of time Jerry was proposing and setting the goal of going through the tunnel, he created a concrete plan on how to execute his goal. As stated in the text, “I want some swimming goggles,” he panted, defiant and beseeching. First, he thought, he must learn to control his breathing. He let himself down into the water with another big stone in his arms, so that he could lie effortlessly on the bottom of the sea… All night the boy dreamed of the water-filled cave in the rock, and as soon as breakfast was over he went to the bay” (Lessing). In order for Jerry to accomplish his goal, he needs to make a foolproof plan in order to have no difficulties. Concurrently, he needs to gather specific objects that will make it possible for him to be able to accomplish his goal. The text proclaimed that he needed goggles to be able to see underwater, so he went to his mother. Jerry asked urgently for the goggles and showed how he insisted on beginning training and reaching his goal. If Jerry never set up a plan, he would most likely not have been able to reach the goal he insisted on achieving whatsoever, because he would have been clueless. Generally speaking, for Jerry to accomplish his goal, he needs to put in countless amounts of hard work and training as much as he possibly can. Directly taken from the passage, “That day and the next, Jerry exercised his lungs as if everything, the whole of his life, all that he could become, depended upon it. Again his nose bled at night, and his mother insisted on his coming with her the next day. It was a torment to him to waste a day of his careful training, but he stayed with her on that other beach, which now seemed a place for small children, a place where his mother might lie safe in the sun. It was not his beach” (Lessing). A known fact is that a person exceeds in life when making time to practice causing a perfect strategy to build up. If Jerry does not put the effort into going through the tunnel, then he will most likely fail attempting to conquer the goal. By training himself, he improves the weaknesses and abilities he struggles with to succeed. Constant training leads to satisfying results which constructs a high confidence level to having the strength of completing goals. Several occurrences in life may begin to become difficult, but will soon be seen as simple when overcame. With the aid of training throughout the time Jerry was completing his goal, this leads him to begin building up a high determination level. Lessing disclosed, “A day’s rest, he discovered, had improved his count by ten… On the day before they left, he would do it. He would do it if it killed him, he said defiantly to himself. But two days before they were to leave, a day of triumph when he increased his count by fifteen” (Lessing). The constant effort of determination leads to a high probability of accomplishing a goal or just a simple task in life. Throughout the story, Jerry increased in his seconds underwater and this occurred because how hard he was on himself. No matter what, everyday he would wake up and head to the beach with no excuse not to. By this said, Jerry’s actions showed how serious he was of going through the tunnel. If he did not have a high determination level and a positive mindset, Jerry would have never achieved his goal. The prime reason is because if he was negative and did not put as much effort, he would have low hopes of him making an achievement. As a result of Jerry determining on accomplishing his goal, ultimately he is not only setting a plan for himself, but he is also training his weaknesses to exceed greatly.
Numerous amount of people go through a certain experience in life that guides a majority to come of age. By deliberating that idea, Jerry reached the point in his life where he grew independence when he was attempting on reaching his goal. Lessing affirmed in the text, “He did not ask for permission, on the following day, to go to his beach. He went, before his mother could consider the complicated rights and wrongs of the matter” (Lessing). Subsequently, the actions Jerry pursued showed how he fulfilled his desires and did exactly what he planned on doing for himself. For instance, when he did not ask his mother for permission proved that he reached the point in life where he did not need somebody to tell him what to do. No matter what, he went to the beach as soon as he woke up from his slumber and proceeded to attempt his greatest triumph. Independence is shown because at such a young age people need to receive permission from their guardian to go out. Except for Jerry, he intended on going straight to the beach to pursue his action, so his mother will not consider otherwise. On the contrary of Jerry becoming independent, he also increased in maturity by going through this certain time in his life. The passage conveyed, “You look a bit pale.” And then, sharp and anxious, “How did you bang your head?” “Oh, just banged it,” he told her” (Lessing). As the evidence displays, Jerry did not explain the actual reason why he was pale to his mother. Other kids would immediately go tell their parents what occurred and how so it may be resolved. By Jerry not telling his mother what genuinely happened show how he grew maturity, because if he told his mother she would quickly figure out a way to assist him with his paleness. When Jerry proclaimed that he just bumped his head and lied to his mother, proved that he is able to secure himself and be responsible for the actions he performed. In either case, losing innocence begins to occur when experiencing such a difficult time conquering what is certainly aimed for. The author proclaimed, “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” (Lessing). The near death situation Jerry encountered impacted his life significantly. At the moment where Jerry was losing consciousness and struggling deep in the water almost led to his own death. When somebody as young as Jerry almost dies, that impacts somebody greatly. A loss of innocence is shown, because children should not be exposed to death. Most experiences that occur when a person is younger is solitary of the most fondest memories. A specific moment, possibly special, travels through life with somebody. In Jerry’s situation, his “special” memory would not be so special, because a near death experience would just be a horrific memory that will reflect on behaviors in life. Given these points, Jerry changed significantly as a person when attempting on reaching such a high and profound goal.
When Jerry worked to attain his goal, he began receiving insight not only about himself, but also his life. As a result of Jerry going through the tunnel, the experience gave him a new found pride in himself. Lessing clearly stated in the text, “Mummy,” he said, “I can stay underwater for two minutes, three minutes, at least… It came bursting out of him” (Lessing). The point in time where Jerry revealed the life changing occurrence he went through proved he had such an experience he was not able to hide. Involvement in such events as almost dying and achieving a high goal at a young age impacts somebody significantly. When Jerry told his mother, he was confessing as if it was wrong. In reality, he felt the need to reveal his accomplishment to his mother, because the moment was such a milestone in his life. On balance, certain experiences in life lead to overcoming fears and greatly gaining courage. The story presented, “This moment, when his nose had only just stopped bleeding, when his head was still sore and throbbing , this was the moment when he would try. If he did not do it now, he never would. He was trembling with fear that he would not go; and he was trembling with horror at that long, long tunnel under the rock, under the sea” (Lessing). Overcoming his own fears proves that he is capable of doing anything if he puts his mind to it. When constantly training and preparing himself, he learned that if a task is fearful, he is able to do it. Fear is just the matter over the mind, and during that moment, Jerry recognized that. Bravery and courage is shown profoundly, because he is capable of doing something that is seen as impossible. In the light of witnessing and physically going through such a life changing experience, Jerry learned the overcoming of adversity. Written in the story, “He drifted to the surface, his face turned up to the air. He was gasping like a fish. He felt he would sink now and drown; he could not swim the few feet back to the rock. Then he was clutching it and pulling himself up onto it. He lay face down, gasping. He could see nothing but a red-veined, clotted dark. His eyes must have burst, he thought; they were full of blood. He tore off his goggles and gout of blood went into the sea. His nose was bleeding, and the blood had filled the goggles” (Lessing). Overcoming adversity showed greatly he is able to accomplish a task with many difficulties. At the moment Jerry finally reached back to the service, he noticed how he finally reached his goal. Even though he was injured, he was able to overcome his problem and have the ability to feel like he is able to do anything. Jerry could have succumbed to his fear, but instead, rose above the fear and swam out stronger. The processes Jerry went through impacted him greatly by making him a superior and daring kid for his age.
In essence, during the time period Jerry strived to reach his goal, he experienced the rite of passage by successfully accomplishing what he started, coming of age, and receiving insight about life and himself. By Jerry conquering the rite of passage, he slowly went through the phase of gaining maturity and independence when becoming exposed to such a life changing experience. In order to have a successful acquaintance with the situation, Jerry had to plan the goal, train, and be determined. Throughout these stages he overcame adversity and his fears of injury during the process. Consequently, advancing in everyday decisions reveals the potential and maturity of a person’s natural mortality.