20 September 2009

What kind of person is Jerry?



We've begun reading several coming of age short stories, including "Through the Tunnel" by Doris Lessing. The story focuses on Jerry, a young boy vacationing with his mother, who envies a group of older boys swimming through an underwater tunnel.

As you know from our discussions and class notes, a coming of age story involves a young protagonist who begins the story as youthful and immature. The protagonist grows up during the story and undergoes a change. The above slide show contains the notes about the coming of age stories.

To get us started, let's take another look at Jerry from the beginning of "Through the Tunnel." How would you describe him? What is it about him that makes him immature or youthful? What are some examples from the text of his youthfulness? What does he need to do to grow up? Select a telling passage from the opening pages that helps illustrate how he is immature.

Write your answer in the comments section of this blog entry. Your answer should be a well-developed paragraph that fully answers the prompt and make direct references to the text and directly quote from the telling passage you selected. I suggest writing your response on a word processing program such as Word so you can spell check it and edit it before posting it to the comments section.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jerry is a young and immature boy. What makes him immature, is that he has not really experienced a lot in his life. He has not been given much freedom by his mother, so when she allows him to stay on the beach he is givena lot of freedom and does not know what to do with it. Jerry is also immature in that he has not had the chance to meet many different people so when he meets the boys that swim through the tunnel he is confused and curious. Having exposure to these boys is going to make him less immature. A passage that shows this is, "They were big boys-men, to Jerry. He dived, and they watched him. He felt he was accepted and he dived again, carefully, proud of himself."

Anonymous said...

At the beggining of the story Jerry has many defining traits, many of which don't change at all throughout the story. He is very young for one thing which is probably at least part of the reason he is so immature. Being immature it is fair to assume that he is impatient, which he proves when he demands gogles form his mother and demanded that he get them immediatly. On the other hand not all the traits he posses in this story are bad. He is very strong willed, and adventerous as well.
brede

Anonymous said...

The one before is Jake's

Anonymous said...

I would describe jerry by saying that he doesn't really listen to his mom and he always wants to do what he wants. But at the same time he rarely ever wants to leave his mom. He is inmature because he never listens to his mom. And he never does what she askes him to do. An example of him beinf youthfull is when he mom asked him to go to the big beach with her, he never wants to go. But when he goes to the other beach by himself he always ends up getting scared and wanting to go to his mom. What he does to go up is that he finally ended up holding his breath under the water for more than 100 seconds. And it also shows how he grew up because at the end of the story his mom said that he is done swimming for today and he didnt fight back at his mom, he just listened to what she said to do.

Jack

Anonymous said...

Jerry is a kid that is pretty immature in many ways but mature in others. Jerry sounds like kind of self centered kid with lots of determination to do something he really want and get it done. He’d go all out in proving to the kids at the diving rock that he too can do it and also to prove it to himself. I think what he needs to do to grow is challenge himself to do something because that will make him feel that he is getting more mature and give him confidence. “On the day before they left, he would do it. He would do it if it killed him, he said defiantly to himself.”
Deny Gonzalez Fuentes

Anonymous said...

Jerry was a rather immature boy at the begining of the story. I would describe him as a bit of a baby because of how he wants his mom all of the time, he can never do things on his own and he complains quite a bit. He would never leave his mothers side to go do something with other people he would just keep making up excuses for his mother to stay.To grow up he needs to learn how to do things on his own which he learns by the end by moving rocks out of the way of the tunnel, but he couldnt really follow through because he knocks his head off of a really big rock and gives himself a concuision.
-Austin

Anonymous said...

I think Jerry changes a lot over the course of this small passage. At first, I found him to be impatient. When he first discovers the tunnel, Jerry flies up to his mom at the public beach, and demands she buy him goggles to explore with. He grows very impatient and seems to be needy or annoyed with his mom. (Could it be that he’s an only child, used to being pampered or he knows his mom will always tend to his needs?) When he wanted his goggles, “now, now, now, he must have them this minute and no other time. He nagged and pestered until she went with him to the shop.”(146) Then, we never even hear Jerry thank his mother. I also found Jerry very cautious. When he is “attacked” by the seaweed in the tunnel, “it was enough.”(144) he got out of the water for an entire day and was more wary from then on. Then, however, we see Jerry realize he absolutely needed to go through the tunnel. He exhibited determination. He had an insatiable curiosity to overcome the tunnel. He was so determined, in fact, that he trained his lungs to hold air for over 2 minutes. He suffered through nose bleeds every night. Though he was scared, “His hands were shaking, then he chose the biggest stone he could carry and slipped over the edge…”(147) Jerry had to go through that tunnel, even if he was terrified. One more changing aspect Jerry shows is when he treats his mother with more respect. He calls her “Mummy” and proudly tells her of his accomplishment. Then, as she tells him he shouldn’t over work himself today (and prepares herself for a strongly opposing Jerry) he gave in. Jerry was content and polite now.
Jena

victoria said...

Jerry is 11 years old. He is an only child, who enjoys doing things on his own. The reason why I think this is because his mom feels that she is keeping Jerry too close to her and he wants to prove to her that he isn’t a baby. When he goes to the beach he felt like a little kid going to the beach with his mom. He wanted to be older by going on his own.

Jerry enjoyed attention from the boys who were there. He also did what he wanted and didn’t care what his mom thought.

In the text it says that “the English boys came running naked. They came closer to Jerry; he wanted to go swimming with them.” This shows that he was being immature. He also went back to see what the dark hole was even after he hit his head and his nose started to bleed. This shows us that he was being youthful.

Jerry need to act more his age to be able to grow up. He also needs to stop following others because this causes him into trouble. Jerry also needs to agree with his mom when she says he is not ready to go to the beach alone.

Anonymous said...

I would describe Jerry as a young boy that has not matured yet. He is immature because he is with his mother, usually only little boys go with their moms somewhere. For example he was screaming look mom look to get her attention. He is also immature because he was playing with the sand and rocks at the beach. To grow up what he needs is friends. He tried to make friends with the brown boys but they did not even take a look at him.

Anonymous said...

In the Short story I would describe Jerry as a typical young boy. Young kids are always hyper. For example he was screaming and splashing which also shows immaturity. They can also be as calm as a rock and not say a word. For example: when he inched his way towards the boys that spoke a different language, he quietly came over to see what was going on, trying not to be offensive or annoying. To grow up: I thing that he needs to know the right time to be hyper and calm down a little bit. He also needs to stop going with his mom everywhere; he can’t be with her every moment of his life.
John n.

Anonymous said...

In the short story I would describe jerry as a young English boy. He is probably very young because he wants to go everywhere and follow his mother. He’s 11 years old. Usually when your immature you always want to go everywhere with your mother. He also makes friends that he doesn’t even know and goes over there and makes new friends with the burned smooth dark skinned boys. They start going under water and see who can stay under the longest. Jerry was under the longest. All of a sudden he started to splash like a little dog. I think what he will need to be more mature is to make friends that speak the same language as him, not to follow his mom every where she goes as a mama boys.
Elyssa

Anonymous said...

In the beginning of “through the tunnel” jerry was an immature boy. He’s always doing what he wants. He also complains a lot. An example of this from the book is when he was with the kids at the rock and kept saying he would dive in. he was trying to draw attention to himself when he shouted, “look at me, look at me”. He needs to learn how to do things on his own and stop trying to draw attention to him and he needs to not be so attached to his mother. that would be a start for being more mature.
-chris

Anonymous said...

Jerry is a young eleven year old boy who has been under the care of his mother always before. He has gone to the same safe beach for vacation every year. Jerry shows his youthfulness in the beginning of the novel when he sees the rocky bay and hesitates to go there immediately. The next day, when he’s about to go alone, he almost ran after her because a part of him still says that he ought to be with his mother. Even after he’s gone and in the water, he’s regularly checking to see if she’s still there. Then, when he suddenly feels lonely, he swims towards the big boys in the other side of the bay. This also shows his youthfulness because little kids don’t feel right alone. Jerry shows his immaturity by “clowning to claim attention” at moments of failure; mature people ordinarily don’t do that. Then, when the big boys give him the “grave, embarrassed inspection”, he knew what it meant because he’s used to that look. After the boys leave, he’s again lonely and this time crying.
To be a more mature person, Jerry went through pain he received from sharp rocks under the tunnel, fear of unknown octopuses, feeling loneliness, and the thoughts of giving up.

Anjita

Anonymous said...

Jerry, at the beginning of the story, is a rather innocent and na├»ve boy. He is eleven years old and he desperately wants to please his mother even though he craves attention from his peers. Jerry abandons his mother on the beach, and while he feels bad for doing it, he tries desperately to fit in with the foreign boys he meets. He checks on his mother to make sure she is okay. “There she was, a speck of yellow under an umbrella that looked like a slice of orange peel. He swam back to shore, relieved at being sure she was there, but all that once very lonely.” (143) However, the boys he meets don’t want to deal with him because they are older and think they are more mature. “They were leaving to get away from him. He cried openly, fists in his eyes. There was no one to see him, and he cried himself out.” (145) Usually, young adults and mature people don’t cry when they are upset, rather they keep it from people or they pretend nothing ever happened. They also may speak to the person(s) who hurt them. I think Jerry doesn’t do any of these things because he doesn’t have enough life experiences to cope with the fact that he necessarily may not always be accepted. In order to grow up, Jerry needs to learn how to cope with problems and issues in his life and once he is able to have more life experiences, I believe Jerry will be able to deal with those problems and issues that will surely occur. Little actions made by the boys made Jerry make feel accepted at first. “They were big boys-men to Jerry. He dived, and they watched him; and when he swam around to take his place, they made way for him. He felt he was accepted and he dived again, carefully, proud of himself.” (144) However, once that was taken away, it shows Jerry’s innocence and immaturity.
-Emily S.

Anonymous said...

Jerry is a doer and wants to be accepted at the beginning of the story. He feels bad leaving his mother alone at the beach but his crave for the rocks overpowered his sympathy for his mom. When he was leaving “…he almost ran after her again, feeling it unbearable that she should go by herself, but he did not…” (143). I can tell that he is immature when he feels the need to go through the tunnel to feel accepted. Jerry also whines like a baby when he begged for the goggles and he “…grabbed them from her hand, as if she were going to claim them for herself…” (145). He needs to grow up because he’s just trying to fill his necessities t by forcing himself told his breath underwater. Also, he is strong-minded because he is determined to go through that tunnel. ashely