1.1 Written Text Essay: “Touching the Void”

Mountain, Rope, Voice

2.)Narrative Voice:
1st Person, 2nd Person, 3rd Person, Eye of God, different perspectives, Joe and Simon

3.)Figurative Language
Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Hyperbole

The combination of descriptive language and techniques for certain effects

Tension filled moments-Created through word choice and syntax

Sentence structures different types have different effects

Syntax, Word Choice, Dialogue

8.) Dialogue
Different speaker traits

Question 1 – Describe at least one important technique in the written text.

Question 3 – Describe a place or time where a main character felt very comfortable or uncomfortable in the written text. Explain how techniques helped you to understand the character’s reaction.


Significant Connections Plan:

Touching The Void

Main Characters
Joe Simpson
Simon Yates
Richard Hawking

Narrative perspective
1st person narrative

Base Camp
Siula Grande, West Face, 1985

Special uses of language

Self sacrifice for saving others
The power of the inner contions
The nature of survival

Not without my daughter, Into thin air, Children of the silk road,

Speech Part 2: Drafting

Intro: We’ve all experienced bad days. Whether it’s a traumatizing event like a death of loved one, to just something minor like forgetting your p.e gear that carries out throughout your entire day or maybe just an unpleasant event like being rejected by your crush…luckily that has never happened to me. We’ve all had bad days. Where we just feel like giving up. We internally ask questions like Why do I even try? Whats the point? Why am I even here? I just wanna go home. We’ve all experienced this throughout our entire lives and we will continue to for the rest of it. It is inhuman to enjoy the disappointing feeling of taking part in a bad day, where no matter what you do, things just don’t go your way. And that’s life. Nobodies perfect. But what if we could change that invalidating attitude towards that bad day and stay positive for once, to turn that terrible day into a better day, or a life lesson experience. Which outlines my topic of how to stay positive during a bad day. On the 4th of May 2018, I had perceived that I had hit the rock bottom of life, where I felt stuck in an endless loop of negativity. However during these tough times I had established 3 main points that turned my experience around.  The ability to see situations in a different perspective, the influence of music and the ability to smile. And what you are going to learn today, that can be used throughout your entire life is…that you can always be positive in a bad day.

Main Points:  


Perspective is the most crucial lesson to be learnt when experiencing a bad day. Perspective is an individuals particular attitude towards  regarding something or known as a point of view.  Every individual living organism in this planet has a perspective of whats in front of them. But why is perspective so important in staying positive in a bad day? Well, perspective is like taking yourself thousands of feet into the sky and realizing things could be a lot worse. It’s like the quote ‘I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet’. We will live in this big wide world where sometimes we forget that the world doesn’t revolve around us. Where we feel that when something goes wrong the world’s going to end. Well let me tell you something. You are not the only one living in this world that is struggling! Your not. So get that illusion out of your head that you are the only one out there struggling because there is bound to be someone else in this big scary planet that could be severally struggling way more than you are. Especially in first world countries like the beautiful New Zealand we live in today we tend to forget that most of our difficulties in life may be nowhere near the portions of a third world country like an African in Uganda. Let me demonstrate an example of this.  Last week I couldn’t over hear this girl in my geography class failing her math’s test saying “I’m so dumb” “I’m going to fail the year” “You know what I’m just gonna give up and drop out of school”. This girl perceived that her whole education had been thrown out the window by failing one math’s test. However if this girl looked through the eyes of another perspective she would’ve realized that she only failed one math’s test out of how many throughout the year. She could’ve realized she should be grateful that she isn’t according to UNESCO the 101 million African children that doesn’t even have the option for education. She could’ve realized she was extremely fortunate to not be born with a cognitive brain disorder such as autism which gives a massive disability in understanding subjects like math’s.  If I had I told this girl to look at her problems in a different perspective, and told her information like this, she would’ve then realized she is immensely lucky to be the situation she is currently in, and maybe instead of complaining she could’ve learnt that she isn’t dumb and maybe to just pay more attention in class or work a little bit harder. So before negative thoughts arise in a disappointing event, look at it at a different perspective and ask yourself this What could’ve been worse? and What did I learn from it?



The second point to staying positive in a bad day is the use of music. Music is much more powerful than you think it is. Its much more that its definition of written or printed signs representing the vocal or instrumental sounds. No, music is a art that can instantly change that negative mood no matter what circumstance your in. The first way it does this is because everyone loves music.  Humans naturally love listening or playing music. This is because music releases the chemical of dopamine which is the sensation of reward. Music does this by triggering blood flow to the brain that activates regions linked to the euphoric stimuli which is the area dopamine is released.  So just by listening to a 3 minute song like ‘I’m sexy and I know it’ can instantly make you feel better, and what’s not positive about feeling good. The second reason how music helps you get through a bad day is that music brings out your emotions. It does this by the lyrics, tempo or the sounds connecting with your mood. Music in this sense is a way to release all your concentrated emotions that you hide, in way we can enjoy so the only thing left in our system is motivation to get through the day. A specific example of this is by the greatest perceived by many rappers of all time, Eminem. Eminem lived through tough struggles like being bullied, dropping out, suicidal however Eminem was able to write songs to release all the negativity and emotions to get through the struggles of life. His specific song ‘Going Through Changes’ talks about his dear friend Proof who was shot outside a club on April 2009. The song remenises his struggles such as overeating, daytime napping, pill addiction and sorrow when Proof dies. Eminem was able to utilize music in this situation  to express his stressful emotions in a positive manner to gain motivation during these tough times. The final point of the use of music keeping you positive is by picking a song with a happy memory attached to it. The reason why this works is when listening to a song with a good memory attached to it, your mind automatically switches your train of thought to that memory and distracts you from the bad day you just had. Your mind can only consciously directly focus on one thing at a time. So for example I might choose the song…  And what’s cool about this is, after the song has finished and your confronted by your horrific day again, your mind is calm enough to realize, Hey this is not as bad as I thought it was before, and your now able to confront that bad day in controlled state. So just by singing or listening to a short segment of music during a bad day, can make you feel happier, release all your congested emotions and relax you enough to confront that bad day.



The third and final point to staying positive during a bad day is the ability to smile and laugh. Simple as it sounds, however not so easy to do when your having a bad day. We tend to forget the universal indicator of happiness the smile can be used throughout any situation. Instead, you naturally frown, shrug your shoulders, shake your head, or sometimes do silly gestures, or some people even choose to hit themselves like … Or what I do is, i’m not sure anyone can relate but is get annoyed at any small thing that could possible annoy me, like for instance if someone tells me to push in my chair I would be like… “Wowww, wowww, why don’t you push in the chair.  Your just lazy you big forehead!” Or if my pencil lead snaps I would be like “Oh great, now you snap. Watch me disown you for a pen…  These are all natural reactions to when something has gone wrong, but what if instead of creating these embedded negative gesture we choose to smile or laugh. The reason for this is, when you smile your brain releases the reward/happy chemical of dopamine like in music which for one keeps you positive, but second of all it releases serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical which is responsible to reducing stress levels. This is vitally important  because your mood towards a situation is elevated by your stress levels. This chemical released in our brains is very crucial as enduring low amounts of serotonin leads to aggression and depression. So just by smiling for 30 seconds , slowly erases depression.  Even if you have to fake it like “Oh my gosh i’m having such a bad day”, the effect remains the same. Studies show that participates who were instructed to smile recover on average 20% quicker than participates instructed to hold a neutral expression. So when enduring a bad day, do something that will make you smile. Like go out and play just dance with your friends, go watch a hilarious movie like grown ups, or play Minecraft and die a bunch of times… Well that’s what I do anyway. Whatever it may be, do an activity that will make you smile, because it will lower your blood pressure, release dopamine that will make you happier, release serotonin that reduce your stress levels and overall make you feel a lot more positive during or after a bad day.


It is part of the human journey to experience bad days. We all have bad days. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it because like I said before, nobodies perfect. However what we can change is our attitude towards a bad day that can make us more positive and motivated to get through the struggles of life. We can all do this by changing our perspective which we ultimately learn that we should be grateful that it could’ve been worse, we learn that through the struggles of bad days there’s always a lesson learn’t  and finally it’s okay to have bad days because you know what happy people know, is that happy people know there gonna have bad days. We can also do this by using the power of music where we learn that it makes you happy as it releases dopamine, we learn that it can release your bundle up emotions which can motivate you and we also learn that songs with memories can calm you enough to confront your bad day again. The final way we can also stay positive throughout a bad day is the ability to smile where we learn that it releases dopamine so you stay happy, it releases serotonin which reduces your stress levels and we learn that when having a bad day do something that will ultimately make you smile because that could well change your bad day to a not so bad of a day. I challenge you when confronting a bad day to not react so quickly and negatively. But instead take a deep breath and smile, look at it at a different perspective and confront your day instead of running away from it. 

Stuff left to include: remove repetition,

Speech Part 1: Planning

Topic: How to stay positive in a bad day

Intro: State the topic, Rhetorical Question, State main points, Listing, Grab the attention of the audience

Main Points: 

Perspective: Other world wide problem, People in Africa, Questioning yourself, how perspective changes mood, chain reaction, perspective determines your thoughts,

Music: upbeat music, emotive words, high notes makes happier people, a song with a happy memory attached to it, songs you like, evidence, experience






Smile/Laugh: stimulates areas in brain cognition and emotional processes, activates area in brain stimulates brain reward system of dopamine, lowers heart rate, blood pressure and other stress indicators, your mood is elevated by stress levels, evidence, smiling is contagious, fake it

“Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and aggression,” says Dr. Gupta. “Low levels of dopamine are also associated with depression.”



Conclusion: Sum up points, Its alright to have a bad day, quote, rhetorical question

Speech Part 2: Drafting


1st Point: Why do we try to fit in? The way we were made .

The way we were made and constructed plays a instrumental part in why we desperately try so hard to fit in. We live in this big scary world where we perceive that bad things our going to happen to us. And it’s not our fault that we perceive it this way. At the end of the day, you have to realize that were human, and we only have one life. So it’s not the worst thing taking precocious measures around life threatening situations that could possibility end the only life that you have. We were born for a purpose…survival. But for some reason, due to evolution of our brain development, us humans are hot wired to believe that not being social acceptance or not “fitting in” is a possible threat that could kill us.  No wonder we try so hard. Are mind and our bodies are only trying to keep us safe. 




2nd Point: The Fear of Society 



3rd Point: The Fear of being alone and being loved



Speech Stage 1: Planning

Topic: Why do we try so hard to fit in and why we shouldn’t?


Statement, Rhetorical question, Outline points

Main Points:

  • The Fear of Society Self consciousness, obese, experiences, emotive language, Being accepted, evolution, how easy it is to judge people, statistics, stereotypes
  •  The Fear of Being alone and Loved Evolution, Popularity ladder, experiences,
  • Why we shouldn’t try?  Everybody is different, dangers, famous people



Sum it up. Rhetorical question.








In the Far Distance – Chapter 9

1.) Symbolism is a language technique that is significant to the text in chapter 9 – In the Far Distance.

In literature symbolism is a object, person or situation that has more than its literal definition. Joe utilizes this symbolic technique of symbolism with the word selection of ‘light’ which is very important to the text as it portrays hows Joe perceives the ‘light’ in his current situation.

The text “A pillar of gold light beamed diagonally from a small hole in the roof, spraying bright reflections off the far wall of the crevasse. I was mesmerized by this beam of sunlight burning through the vaulted ceiling from the real world outside. It had me so fixated that I forgot about the uncertain floor below and let myself down the rest of the rope. I was going to reach that sun beam. I knew it then with absolute certainty” demonstrates the symbolism of the ‘light’ perceived by Joe.

Being the reader I understand from this text that the symbol of the ‘light’ does not only mean the literal meaning, but for Joe the light gives a sense of hope, life and optimism that there is a chance for him to escape the death defying  situation he is currently in.  Evidence in the passage that convinces me of this second meaning is the current positive tone of Joe when describing the light. He uses a variety of positive words and phrases such as ‘A pillar of gold light beamed’ and ‘spraying bright reflections off the far wall of the crevasse’. Emotive language is also implemented to describe the positive tone of how Joe perceives the light with the selected text of “I was mesmerized by this beam of sunlight”. As the current reader with my knowledge, experiences and biases, the selected word of mesmerized creates and imagery in my mind of my past experiences when confronted with a never before seen beautiful environment such as the Milford Sound creating a disbelief in my mind. Sentence structure/syntax also presents to me the second meaning of the ‘light’ because Joe uses complex sentences to portray the positive tone such as  “A pillar of gold light beamed diagonally from a small hole in the roof, spraying bright reflections off the far wall of the crevasse’. Also I perceive that the symbol of ‘light’ presents a significant feature which is that hope/optimism presents motivation. I gain this sense of feeling because of the short, sharp and statement simple sentences of  “I was going to reach that sun beam” and “I knew it then with absolute certainty”.

2.) Another use of the language technique of symbolism is with the consistent back chat between Joe and the ‘voice’. This is again significant to the text in chapter 9 – In the Far Distance.

The symbolic meaning of the ‘voice’ has a big role in presenting Joe’s mental and emotional state currently in this section of his journey.

It is revealed in the text “A voice in my head told me that this was true, cutting through the jumble in my mind with its coldly rational sound. If was as if there were two minds within me arguing the toss. The voice was clean and sharp and commanding. It was always right, and I listened to it when it spoke and acted on its decisions. The other mind rambled out a disconnected series of images, and memories and hopes, which I attended to in a daydream state as I set about obeying the orders of the voice. ” the symbolic meaning of the voice and conflicting between Joe’s ‘two minds’.

The symbolism used in the passage of the ‘voice’ presents to me as the reader that the ‘voice’ is the logical, calming and responsible mind commanding Joe’s actions and decisions when in moments of need.  As the reader I interpret this by the descriptions, statements and word selection of the voice such as “The voice was clean and sharp and commanding” “It was always right” and I listened to it when it spoke and acted on its decisions”. Personification is also used to show that the voice in Joe’s mind acts like a higher ranked, trusted second opinion almost as if the voice was Simon. Being the reader I perceive the ‘voice’ in Joe’s mind to be like Simon as at the beginning stages of the climb Joe has a very low self esteem perceiving Simon to be his idol but also Simon barely varies his syntax and only uses commanding statements of simple sentences and minor sentences such as “Done it” “No more fluting” and “Come up.” Also as the reader with my experiences I perceive this voice to also be a companion who influences my decisions as I self talk to myself when alone and confronted with a situation of a high amount of stress or failure.  The personification used in the text to portray to readers that the voice is commanding is with the phrase ” I listened to it when it spoke” even though the voice could not speak. Revealed in the text I also am able to see a conflict between the ‘voice’ and the other mind. I perceive this as the other mind fixates on memories/experiences that relate to the situation he is in or concludes to finding the likely outcome of the situation. Evidence that supports my understanding is with the sentence of”The other mind rambled out a disconnected series of images, and memories and hopes, which I attended to in a daydream state as I set about obeying the orders of the voice.”

Sentence Syntax

Simple Sentence

A group of words, including a verb, that makes sense on its own. Simple sentences are commonly used to describe a single idea. Example: The student asked a question.

Compound Sentence

Two or more main clauses (simple sentences) joined together with a conjunction or separated by a semi colon. A compound sentence gives us more information than a simple sentence by developing a basic idea. Example: The student asked a question and the teacher answered it.

Complex Sentence

One main clause joined to one or more subordinate clauses. A writer uses a complex sentence to express an idea that requires more elaboration. Example: The student asked a question when he had a problem with his classwork.

Compound-Complex Sentence 

Two or more main clauses linked to one or more subordinate clauses. Example: The student asked a question and the teacher answered it because the teacher knew the student needed help.

Minor Sentence

A sentence without a completed verb that is often used in emphasis. Many common greetings are also minor sentences. Minor sentences are commonly found in advertising as they give fast paced, less formal tone. Examples: Hello, Never in a million years

Silent Witness – Chapter 8

1.) Mood and tone is significant to the selected text of Silent Witness – Chapter 8.

Mood refers to the atmosphere (or feelings) which Joe creates in a passage of writing. Where as tone refers to the attitude of the writer which Joe describes towards what is happening in the passage.  Moods and Tones are significant to the text because it shows the reader the atmosphere of the mood that Joe is in and what Joe’s presents to the mood with his attitudes and feelings which is tone. These moods and tones are illustrated by Joe’s use of word selection, language techniques and sentence structures/syntax.

A selected text that demonstrates the importance of the use of moods and tones is “I stared at the mountain rising over me. Empty. It was a pointless thing to have done – climb up it, across it, and down it. Stupid! It looked perfect; so clean and untouched, and we had changed nothing, It was beautiful, immaculate, but it left me empty. I had been on it too long, and it had taken everything.” 

As the reader I interpret this passage of mood illustrated by Joe to be that the mountain is grande, still, untouched and perfect. I understand this mood from the text because of Joe’s word selection of beautiful, immaculate and clean which creates to me a image that the atmosphere of the snow is bright, silky and flawless. However the tone that Joe presents in the readers understanding is that Joe portrays a frustrated attitude towards the mood because Joe feels that all the hard work he has accomplished on this mountain has left no evidence of his hard work. I visualize this because of the word selection in the phrases ‘It was pointless’ ‘we had changed nothing’. Also as the reader I perceive that Joe’s frustration has built up from his low self esteem as Joe is on the verge of death and feels like if he dies he will be worthless as individuals will look towards the mountain and see that Joe has conquered nothing.  As the reader I also understand from the text that Joe’s tone to the text is he feels drained as he feels he has invested his blood, sweat, tears and time on this mountain for to long and has gained no sense of accomplishment.  I understand this with the phrases ‘it left me empty’ ‘I had been on it to long’. I also perceive this by the language technique used of personification with the selected test ‘it had taken everything’ as Joe feels that the mountain a non living physical object had stole everything Joe had possessed like a human presence.

2.)Another text that implements moods and tones is “This place was ageless and lifeless. A mass of snow, and ice, and rock slowly moving upwards; freezing, thawing, cracking asunder, always chasing with the passing of centuries. What a silly thing to pit oneself against!” 

As the reader I understand from this text that the mood described by Joe is lonely and timeless. I envision this with imagery portrayed by the word selection of ageless and lifeless. This image is encountered as the reader can visualize no other organism of life which due to my experiences of being alone presents me to the emotive language of loneliness which I can only picture Joe feeling the same way.  Also the mood of timeless pops to mind due to the word selection of ageless. Because of my personal perception, the first thing that springs to mind from the word ageless is the age of people. And as the age of people increases the look of them changes. However in this case the mountain is ageless meaning it doesn’t look significantly different or changes over time therefore bringing up the mood of timeless as time passes by without anything changing. As the reader I also understand the tone Joe presents to the text which is he feels ashamed and stupid. This is because Joe describes the mountain to be superior by selecting words like ageless but also stating the processes the mountain undertakes that cannot be stopped unlike himself. Joe also uses figurative language of personification to show how the mountain cannot be stopped as if it were ageless. The text states ‘always chasing with the passing of centuries’ as if the mountain could perform a human action of chasing. As the reader I also perceive the tone that Joe feels stupid and ashamed by the word selection of ‘silly’ in his final quote of “What a silly thing to pit oneself against!” This demonstrates to me that Joe feels stupid and ashamed to even try to conquer this near impossible climb. With my biases and experiences I also perceive that Joe feels this way as iv’e been in situations where at the beginning, I felt confident something was easy or possible but then attempted it and realized its not so easy with the skills I possessed, feeling stupid and embarrassed/ashamed when confronting the individual that I had said I could do it. A specific example of this was when I was the age of 8 thinking I could swim a length of 100metres, telling all of my friends I could do it with barely any swim lessons or expertise. However when attempting it I soon realized this was extremely difficult and failed feeling stupid and embarrassed in front of my friend gaining a low self esteem afterwards.


Shadows in the ice – Chapter 7

1.) Contrast is significant in the used sections of text. Joe describes his surroundings of the crevasse below him as the of the dark void of the inescapable end and the sky above him as the chance of existing life of light. The demonstrates the concept of contrast as both the crevasse and the sky described by Joe are of polar opposites which is why the contrast so significantly.

The selected text “the stark blackness of the drops, too deep for the light to penetrate…the black space held untold horrors….staring at the black hole in front of me….the dark spaces menaced” portrays the crevasse in Joe vision. However Joe contrasts these dark, horrific images with the descriptions of the night sky with: “small hole in the roof, where the sky was cloudless, packed with stars, and moonlight was adding its glow to their bright sparkle.”

The reader understands from Joe’s descriptions of the contrasting images of the crevasse and night sky is that Joe’s feelings are connected with the descriptions of the images. The reader also can visualize that when Joe is looking down towards the near impossible crevasse negative feelings present themselves as Joe can only think of the reality of the ‘odds’ of getting down the mountain. However when Joe looks towards the sky Joe presents himself with the thought of a glimmer of hope as it illustrates the event he has put himself in. This is because although the sky is mostly packed with clouds there is a small hole where you can see the stars. As the reader I perceive this to be an analogy of Joe’s situation as although things seem to unfavor survival there is still a glimmer of hope he will make it down.

2.) The rope in the text between Joe and Simon is significant as it symbolizes the connection and accountability that exists between Joe and Simon. However Joe’s hope disappears as well as the connection and accountability that exists between the rope as Joe no longer believes they are connected.

The text states ‘Maybe he heard me just then? He won’t leave unless he’s sure. How do you know he’s not dead already? Did he fall with me? Find out… pull the rope’ shows the constant questions asked by Joe in his mind and the selected text ‘So he must have hit the slope and stopped. He would be dead. He must be after that fall’ shows the conclusion Joe has come to after the pull.

The reader understands from Joe constant thoughts and before and after the pull of the rope is that before the pull of the rope hope still lingures between the connection and accountability of Joe and Simon on the rope. As the reader I perceive this because Joe constantly questions that there is still a possibility that Simon is still alive and tethered. But also because of Joe’s and Simon’s strong bonded relationship Joe cannot 100% believe that Simon is dead for certain until he see it for himself.  However after the pulling the rope testing if Simon is still alive and receives no response, Joe forces himself to believe that he is dead so that he can realize that he can’t rely on Simon no more and take action on his own.