In Doris Lessing’s short story Through the Tunnel, there is a boy that is visiting various settings throughout the journey he is going through. The author uses different settings in the story to symbolize each of these settings, including the beach to symbolize safety, the bay to symbolize curiosity, the tunnel to symbolize danger, and the sea to symbolize peace.
To begin with, the main character, who is a young English boy, is walking on the shore of the beach on his vacation. The beach symbolizes safety and protection, so as he is walking against the shore, the author explained that the beach was a “safe beach,” which was on page 78 of the story. The beach symbolizes safety and protection which can be proven by the statement made by the author of being safe. This can be proved as safe because of his surroundings, which is made up of people and objects. People around him provide him the protection and safety he needs, which can show him being safe and protected. Next, the bay comes along and symbolizes risk and curiosity. On page 78, it says “wild and rocky bay,” which is representing the risk that the boy has going to the bay. If the bay is rocky and wild, it can prove that it is a dangerous bay and that his willingness to go to into it, even if its hurting him, is strong. Adding on to that, another quote on page 78 “inlets of rough, sharp rock, and the crisping, lapping surface showed stains of purple and darker blue,” can go into deep meaning. The purple and darker blue stains from the bay symbolize curiosity because the boy now not only knows what it looks like, but also how the water had the fringe of purple and blue and can go into thinking as to what it was or to how it may affect him. Despite either of those, he still decided to go into the water, symbolizing the strength of his curiousity. Furthermore, the tunnel is a place where the English boy was focusing on through his journey in this story.
The tunnel can symbolize danger and courage. On page 82, a quote saying “...and he was
trembling with horror at that long, long tunnel under the rock, under the sea,” can symbolize the danger in the “long” tunnel, and