chapter 7

contrast is used in the text to show Joe’s conflicting feelings and experiences. the contrast between two things shows the differences between two different ideas, for example, dark and light and life and death.

In the text, the rope that connects the two men represents a bigger connection, It represents their strong bond, their friendship, their trust in each other with their lives. when the rope is cut these bonds disappear, the power that the bond that the rope represents is lost

chapter 9

  1. When Joe sees the light he literally ‘sees the light’.  When he looks up from the dark cold ice prison that is the crevasse he sees ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’, a hole at the end of the crevasse. Suddenly he goes from having given up hope, to having energy and enthusiasm. For Joe, the light symbolizes life, if he can reach the light he can escape the void. Seeing the light really is a turning point for Joe’s attitude towards his situation, It makes him extremely optimistic which helps him not give up.
  2. The other symbolism in the text is the Voice. the Voice controls Joe and tells him what to do. It guides him back to base camp and gives him the motivation to keep going and survive. I think that the voice represents Joes primal survival instincts and his optimistic side as it gives him hope. an example of this is:

Disaster – Chapter five

When Joe shatters his knee joint, it is one of the most climactic moments in the text.  Joe uses descriptive language and writing style techniques to draw the reader into the moment and to portray the immense pain he is going through.  The first sentence describing his accident is short and sharp and sets a high tempo to the event.”I felt a shattering blow, felt bones splitting and screamed.” this sentence puts the readers in the moment, this is important because it lets the readers feel the pain that the men are going through.  Another technique that Joe uses is repetition, “A fierce burning ball of fire coming from inside my thigh”, the fireball rushed from groin to knee”, “pouring on fire”. The repetition of the word fire lets the reader feel the ‘burning’ pain and draws them into the action.

Joe interviews Simon and includes his perspective in his book, he does this to show a different perspective of the action

On The Edge

The words “On The Edge” is a pun that can be viewed from many alternative aspects, this includes the literal meaning as in On a cliff face, it could also mean that they are ‘on edge ‘ and also mentally On the Edge. These are all displayed in the chapter.

Foreshadowing is one of the main language features used by Joe, this creates a tension because of the way it makes the reader think about the future forever wondering what will happen later in the text, for example, “I sensed that something would happen without understanding quite what it would be”. this gives the reader something to think about

Reaching the Summit of Siula Grande

These lines are included in the text as a sort of foreshadowing of things to come. Joe talks about coming up with harder more dangerous ambitions each time the last one is achieved what is to say that this adventure is the one that pushes the boundaries too much

Tempting Fate – Chapter 2

In chapter 2 of Touching the Void Simon and Joe have a very strong relationship which is why the climb together so well.  Although it is an unspoken thing both of them know that without the other they would be in trouble; they seem to have a full trust in the others abilities, they know each other’s limits and rely on their collective skills to overcome all obstacles or challenges in their quote from chapter 2 that portrays this particularly well is: “I watched Simon’s progress, now agonisingly slow and hunched up, my hair bristling at the thought of a cornice collapse. I followed him as fast as I could. He too had realised the danger.”  The environment that Simon and Joe have to cope with in chapter two is full of danger and small challenges to overcome.  However, they act together always and struggle through to survive. at the end of chapter two, we learn about Joe past experiences which are similar to his current environment. this lets us know that he has the ability and the mindset to cope with situations like the one he is in.

The Role of the author and initial Characteriation

  1. To me the quote: “The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” means that people who live their dreams are dangerous because the things that they do are things that we only dream of.
  2. Based on the opening pages of Touching the Void my initial impression of Joe Simpson (author) are that he is a man who can find comfort and safety in extreme situations. An example of this is when he says “ We were in the middle of the Cordillera Huayhuash, in the Peruvian Andes, separated from the nearest village by 28 miles of rough walking, and surrounded by the most spectacular ring of ice mountains I had ever seen, and the only indication of this from within our tent was the regular roaring of avalanches falling of Cerro Sarapo. I felt a homely affection and a warm security of the tent..”
  3. Firstly we can tell that Joe and Simon have a strong bond because Joe mentions that there would be few other people that he could have coped with for so long. They also seem to be able to joke with each other. Although they are very evenly matched Joe also seems to look up to Simon
  4. Richard was described by Joe as an avid adventurer and explorer, someone who drifted in the wind as such; going wherever the world took him. As far as it’s revealed in the text joe doesn’t think much of Richard as he offers nothing to him however he seems contempt to keep him around to look after the gear and camp.
  5. The distance from civilization is significant because if something were to happen to one of the climbers it would be hard to walk out, the prase is a distinct foreshadowing of something waiting to happen.
  6. Throughout the book, Joe seems to chant one phrase or another in his mind as it is a way for him to focus on the task at hand without being distracted by uncomfortable sensations like hunger, cold and pain. It also probably makes him think and focus on his goals such as reaching the summit.

This is your online portfolio

Hello and welcome to your personal online journal.

This platform has been created to enhance and enrich your learning at Mount Aspiring College. Its purpose is to provide you with an audience for your work (or work-in-progress) and you have the choice (by altering the ‘visibility’ of your posts) of whether your work on here is visible to the world, or only to your teacher.

Anything you post here in the public domain represents you and thus it’s important that you take care with that decision, but don’t be afraid to publish your work – as the feedback you may get from people at home, your peers and people from around the internet is only likely to enhance it.

Remember you can always access your class blog and all manner of resources through the Department of English main website – and by all means check out the sites of your peers to see what they’re getting up to as well.

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Make the most of, and enjoy this new freedom in your English learning.



Chris Waugh