Freud Doris Lessing's "Through the Term Paper

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Jerry's "unfailing impulse of contrition -- a sort of chivalry" struggles against the boy's impulse to be accepted and viewed as a man (3). The lack of father figure in the story underscores Jerry's preoccupation with the group of boys.

The symbolism in "Through the Tunnel" offers a perfect opportunity to explore Freudian theory. In fact, the symbolism emerges like it would in dreams. The titular tunnel is the central image, being an overt representation of the vaginal canal. Moreover, Jerry contemplates the opening of the canal, its vulva, for a long time before entering it. References to the "promontory" of the beach, "strokes," and finally an "explosion" offer phallic imagery too. Jerry is driven to explore the tunnel by a group of boys that he longed for with "a craving that filled his whole body," (5). The longing also suggests homosexuality, which is tempered soon by Jerry's deeper desire to make it through the tunnel.
Jerry matures into a "most unchildlike" preteen by the end of the story (11). His urge to dive is at first an impulsive id desire. However, the way the boy addresses his anxiety assures that he will not fixate at the phallic stage. Jerry navigates through the latency stage of development by honing his self-will, self-discipline, and self-control. He effectively balances his need for security with exploration.

Coming-of-age imagery includes the transformation in his mother's arm from being white to tan. Jerry views his mother's beach as being for children, opposed with the rocky shore. His subconscious comparison between the two signifies his transition from boyhood into manhood. Moreover, Jerry is posed half in the "cool enclosing water," and "half in the hot sun" (13). The blood is also a symbol of menstruation and the menarche or first period at which a girl becomes a woman. Jerry's bleeding becomes a clear symbol of….....

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