Internal And External Conflict In The Tunnel Short Story

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There are two conflicts presented in the story. External and internal. The exterior conflict is when Jerry starts to train his body to be able to hold his breath for a long time and swim through the tunnel. The second conflict is internal. In the beginning, Jerry is portrayed as a boy who is dependent on his mother and cannot do anything without her. However, Jerry trains himself and swims through the tunnel without his mother’s help or knowledge, which leads to that he begins to be independent and does not need his mother in everything. Therefore, when Jerry succeeds, he has crossed the barrier into manhood. First of all, Jerry is fighting both against himself and his mother. On one hand, he wants to please his mother while wanting to be independent. On the other hand, the other conflict is with…show more content…
Those of a child are that he fears that the seaweed will tangle around his feet and the fears of a young man could be that he is afraid that he will not make through the tunnel and die since he fears that he will not be able to hold his breath for long enough. If Jerry has had his own set of friends at the bay, he would not have felt the need to follow the boys, at least not yet. Jerry would be equal to the boys of his age however, when he saw the older boys, he wanted to be equal to them, which lead to that he wanted to prove to himself that he could be as “cool” as the older boys. On the other hand, the need of proving ourselves maturity comes with time, even if Jerry would only be with boys of his age. Maybe, the boys equal of Jerry’s age would want to prove who is the manliest anytime soon, perhaps under different circumstances though. The main theme in “Through the Tunnel” is maturation. The road of being a child coming into adulthood. Jerry wanted to prove that he was mature, and as he succeeded: “He did not want them. He wanted nothing but to get back home and lie
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