8th Grade - Standard Check #4 - Story Elements
Complete all of the following questions before submitting your test at the bottom of this page.
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excerpt from Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

[1] Going to the shore on the first morning of the vacation, the young English boy stopped at a turning of the path and looked down at a wild and rocky bay, and then over the crowded beach he knew so well from other years. His mother walked on in front of him, carrying a bright striped bag in one hand. Her other arm, swinging loose, was very white in the sun. The boy watched that white, naked arm, and turned his eyes, which had a frown behind them, toward the bay and back again to his mother. When she felt he was not with her, she swung around. “Oh, there you are, Jerry!” she said. She looked impatient, then smiled. “Why, darling, would you rather not come with me? Would you rather ” She frowned, conscientiously worrying over what amusements he might secretly be longing for, which she had been too busy or too careless to imagine. He was very familiar with that anxious, apologetic smile. Contrition sent him running after her. And yet, as he ran, he looked over his shoulder at the wild bay; and all morning, as he played on the safe beach, he was thinking of it.

[2] Next morning, when it was time for the routine of swimming and sunbathing, his mother said, “Are you tired of the usual beach, Jerry? Would you like to go somewhere else?”

[3] “Oh, no!” he said quickly, smiling at her out of that unfailing impulse of contrition a sort of chivalry. Yet, walking down the path with her, he blurted out, “I’d like to go and have a look at those rocks down there.”

[4] She gave the idea her attention. It was a wildlooking place, and there was no one there; but she said, “Of course, Jerry. When you’ve had enough, come to the big beach. Or just go straight back to the villa, if you like.” She walked away, that bare arm, now slightly reddened from yesterday’s sun, swinging. And he almost ran after her again, feeling it unbearable that she should go by herself, but he did not.

[5] She was thinking, Of course he’s old enough to be safe without me. Have I been keeping him too close? He mustn’t feel he ought to be with me. I must be careful.
How does the mother’s willingness to allow Jerry to go the “wildlooking place” show a shift in the mother’s attitudes? *
What two pieces of evidence support your answer to number 1? *
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What does the line “And yet, as he ran, he looked over his shoulder at the wild bay; and all morning, as he played on the safe beach, he was thinking of it” (paragraph 3) reveal about Jerry? *
In paragraph 1, the word contrition is used. What does this imply? *
Select ALL the lines that reveal Jerry is having an internal conflict: *
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