Lessing and Bradbury’s Use of Personal Growth and Development as Illustrated In, Through the Tunnel and The Drummer Boy

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Theme Paper

Short stories “Through the Tunnel” and “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” both display themes of maturity and development of character. Each narrative features a young boy facing new fears and uncertainty. Their triumph, whether assisted or independent, is a milestone of their maturity into an adult. Success grants each protagonist a renewed sense of strength and determination.

Jobe, a young kid in “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” by Ray Bradbury, anxiously waited the night before a battle. As his fear of the next day striped him of courage and sleep, the lad confided in the general; he mitigated Jobe’s dread and gave him purpose for the fight. In “Through the Tunnel” by Doris Lessing, the protagonist Jerry is faced with the challenge of swimming through an underground tunnel. He battles his fears and physical ability as he proves to himself that he is as mature and capable as the older boys. Both adolescents deal with their own fears as they mature and come out of their conflicts stronger and wiser. They both searched manhood and fought to gain it.

Jobe’s story focused on his own panic while Jerry dealt with fear and the physical trial that the tunnel demanded. Even with a common theme of maturity, the tales are unique in their execution. Jobe did not feel equipped to fight the next day and let terror seize him until the general mentored him, Jerry saw what it took to be a “man” and rose to the challenge solo.

Maturity is inevitable, whether gained from past mistakes or from success. Both characters recognized their development and its value even if they obtained it from contrasting paths. Finally, the authors wrote these anecdotes for a reader to recognize every man’s journey as they find their identity and purpose in life.

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