Doris Lessing’s short story, “Through The Tunnel,” takes place in the late 1950s. It is told from the perspective of a man who wakes up to find himself one day strangely attracted to his wife; he feels that they are connected somehow. He also has dreams where he is at home with her, even though she has been dead for a short while.
Analyzing the short story as a whole, it is about a man who has unresolved issues from his past life, specifically those related to his wife. Before she died she was sick and poor, but after she passed away he feels that they are united in some way. He notices that whenever he is with another woman, there is no possible way for them to compete with her memory even though they are both physically repulsive.
“Through the Tunnel” is a short story written by Nobel Prize-winning British author, Doris Lessing. It was published in 1971 and appears in her short story collection The Wind Blows Away Our Words. In “Through the Tunnel,” the protagonist Anna Swanwick meets a man named Paul Schusterman at an airport en route to South Africa. They get into a conversation about traveling and end up sitting together on their long flight from London to Cape Town . She assumes he is married because of his wedding ring, but doesn’t ask him outright.
When she tries to find out if he has kids, however, he replies that he does not have any children and pretends to sleep so they can stop talking about it . Schusterman complains about the food service throughout the flight, but tells Anna he wants to live long enough to see Africa. Upon arrival at their destination, Schusterman is taken away by immigration officials and does not return for over an hour. When he returns, he immediately confronts Anna with a request: travel with him as his nurse on a short trip around South Africa.
He claims that her presence will make it easier for him to pass through airport security and onto another plane if they are seen together . She agrees only because she is curious about Schusterman and whether or not he was actually married. Before boarding their next plane , Anna learns that Schusterman has terminal cancer and only one month left to live . They board the plane and begin to travel through South Africa. During the trip, they both learn a lot about each other. Schusterman tells Anna he is Jewish and doesn’t believe in an afterlife.
He asks her if she believes in God, but she says no . They make their way north of South Africa to see the eastern coast of the continent before finally returning to Cape Town. During their short time together, Schusterman reveals that he has been diagnosed with cancer four times already but kept fighting because the nearest hospital was too far away from his home for him to consider visiting before his condition worsened . Before leaving South Africa, Schusterman makes Anna promise not to write about him or what happened between them on this short trip .
If she does, he will deny his own existence . Anna agrees, but she is unsure if she ever has the intention to tell anyone about her travels with Schusterman. Anna takes one last look at him before walking away down the tunnel leading to her departure gate . Schusterman had once told her of his only obsession: seeing Africa. It was because of this that he decided to carry out an illegal plan for them both to escape South Africa and fly back home together .
When they first meet, Paul asks if Anna has any children, yet when pressed on why he wants to know, he claims it’s because he hopes there are no children around so as not to become attached. Later on in the short story however, Paul states that his fear of becoming attached to anyone is to do with being an orphan due to the Holocaust, having no family left at all after what happened. Another example of conflict in this short story is Paul’s fear of airports and flying.
When Anna walks off down the tunnel without him he becomes upset, but tries not to show it by claiming that she did so because she did not care about him. It was only when they were on their way back home, did he tell Anna about why he fears flying; especially when entering South Africa with its strict passport controls. The short story begins when Anna has a business meeting in London and decides to make a short trip out of it by visiting South Africa for the first time. She flies from London to Cape Town and boards a train from the airport into the city.
During this journey , she meets Paul Schusterman, an American tourist who is also on his way back home after living in South Africa for several months. The short story has been published as part of the short story collection “The Sirian Experiments” by Doris Lessing (1981). Through The Tunnel Analysis is considered one short story within it. It was first published in 1981. The short story was later republished as part of “Stories 1” which was published in 2008. Doris Elise McGabe, Uta Hagen and Erica Jong were co-authors of this short story anthology.
Jerry is no different. He and his mother are on a short vacation together, and Jerry is uninterested in spending time with his mother. Consequently, he ignores her calls while he plays stick games with other children at the resort where they are staying. Realizing that these short trips with her son must be lonely for him since he does not take an interest in them, Jerry’s mother decides to cancel their last trip together so that she can attend the wedding of one of her old friends instead. Jerry becomes very angry when he hears about this and runs away from home by crawling through a tunnel near their hotel room and into town.
Lerner states that “the end of childhood occurs when we come terms with feelings we don’t understand and can express. ” Jerry is accompanied by his newfound friend, Colin, as he wanders around town looking for something to do with himself. When it starts raining, they decide to spend the night at a short-term hotel room. They are not old enough to rent the room themselves, but the woman who owns the short-term accommodations gives them permission upon learning that they are friends of Mrs. White (Jerry’s mother).
But when the boys ask her about getting jobs so that they may afford their short-term accommodations longer than one night, she sends them away because she does not believe that they will be able to find work on short notice during their holidays. Meanwhile, Jerry’s father has been frantically trying to find his son. Jerry’s mother has told him that she is not worried about their son because he is a sensible boy who will return before dark, but Jerry’s father has a bad feeling and spends the entire day calling the police and searching for his son in town.
When he returns home, he finds Jerry sleeping in his bed safe and sound. Jerry experiences several turning points throughout this short story. The first turning point occurs when Mrs. White decides to attend her friend’s wedding instead of going on another short vacation with her son. Up until this point in the short story, Jerry has been distancing himself from his mother by ignoring her calls while playing stick games with other boys at the resort where they are staying. The short story suggests that this short trip was an attempt by Jerry’s mother to re-connect with her son and rebuild their relationship.
When she decides to attend the wedding instead, Jerry becomes extremely angry because he knows deep down that this is a sign of his mother’s love and affection for him. The second turning point in the short story occurs when Jerry and Colin decide to spend the night at a short term hotel room. Although they are not old enough to rent the room themselves, Mrs. White gives them permission upon learning that they are friends of hers from the short term accommodations where she works.