TASK: Continue to read from pages 26-38 in “Touching the Void” by Joe Simpson
Describe the relationship between Joe and Simon in this chapter, including important quotations. How are the men inter-dependent and why?
Describe the environment in this part of the climb? What does the environment require from the men and how do they react to the challenges presented to them?
What does the reader learn about Joe’s previous experiences in a similar environment by the end of the chapter? Why might this section of the text be important? Identify any language/ language techniques used purposefully in this section and explain their purpose (effect on the reader’s understanding).
The relationship between Joe and Simon is similar to a bond between brothers, they both respect each other, and have fun together, while also looking out for each other and not being afraid to curse the other out if needed. You need a lot of trust in a person if you are going to put your life in their hands, you need to be with someone you can depend on if you are going to climb a mountain with them, and they both felt that the other was someone they could count on if anything went wrong. There is evidence of this in this extract form Chapter 1, “There were few other people I could have coped with for so long. Simon was everything I was not, everything I would liked to have been. ” This shows the reader how much respect Joe has for Simon, but also how there is an some underlying envy. This is the start of a theme of Joe putting himself down and not believing that he is capable of completing this climb.
There are lots of things needed to climb a mountain as large, and as challenging as Siula Grande. You need experience, the skills, the correct gear, and the ability to react quickly and effectively in a dangerous situation. Their ability to react is shown in chapter 2, page 33 when they are blindsided by falling rocks. Joe quickly reacts, calling out to Simon to warn him, and he quickly ducks away showing his ability to avoid serious injury. They both then quickly recover and continue on their climb. As readers this shows us that they have been through enough to know how to react in a situation that requires quick thinking.
In chapter 2 we learn of a past experience of Joe’s, were he and his climbing partner had just laid down to sleep on a ledge, when the whole thing fell off the mountain, leaving Joe and his partner dangling off the side of a mountain attached to a safety rope that was slowly being pulled out from the mountain, and staying that way for hours before being saved. This is important to the text because it gives us an idea of things Joe has been through and how he handled being in a life or death situations. We are also shown how past experiences will effect his thought process throughout the book, an example of this is when he and Simon find a snow cave to sleep in for the night, and while he is happy he is also worried and not sure of its safety.