TASK: Continue to read from pages 26-38 in “Touching the Void” by Joe Simpson

1.) Joe and Simon’s relationship demonstrates to me that they have very good chemistry and good team work when conquering this task of climbing up and down the summit of Sarapo. This is because they both consistently help each other out my communicating with each other, giving each other equipment(e.g screws)  and making sure each other is safe. This also shows me that they have a really strong connections as both are cautious in each others health as they couldn’t imagine a loyal friending passing away. An example of the passage from the quote “Rocks!” I yelled ducking down and away.” to “You okay.” shows me that Joe really cares for Simon as he screamed to warn Simon and has also asks if he is okay.  Both men are interdependent as they both need and relies on each other technically with knowledge and experiences to survive certain situations, having a physical presence to help in handing equipment, rationing food and strength power but also mentally to keep motivating each other to keep going and give each other company to almost say were in this together. This is a raw relationship.

2.) Through the text given I picture the environment to be very difficult but not impossible to conquer through the perspective of the men. This is because both are able to climb the mountain faces with rhythm without to much difficulty with especially Simon quite relaxed through Joe’s perspective. The described environment seems be very cold and extremely steep which amazes the men as they have never experience anything like it. A quote that demonstrates this to me is “Steep isn’t?” “Almost vertical, that bit on the bottom, ‘but the ice is brilliant!” “I’ll bet this is steeper than Droites.” The environment to the summit is extremely tall compared to the size of the men as the text constantly refers back to measurements of the mountain like “was a respectable 1,000 foot high wall which would have been a mountain in itself in the Dolomites.” However both men are not too panicked but still cautious when conquering certain life or death situations as they are first of all both very experienced mountaineers, they have a strong trust in each other to get them through a challenging situation but also they are both mentally prepared to accomplish their dream in the day. Especially for Joe as he bases his emotions through his experiences, in his eyes he must get to the summit. 

As a reader with my biases and beliefs I learn about one of Joe’s phobia’s during the the exhibition. Near the end of the chapter ‘Tempting Fate’ Joe flash backs to one of his bad past experiences when finding shelter Bonatti Pillar. Simon finding a ideal shelter for the night triggers Joe’s emotions as the situation feels similar to the one he had experienced at the climb of Bonatti Pillar in the French Alps. This therefore causes Joe to be very conscious of his surroundings he does not want history to repeat but this time end at a death. This is important to the text as it shows what Joe is feeling and why he is feeling this way and brings his experiences to context. As a reader with my biases and experiences I can totally relate being in a situation that I have been in before that did end so well last time. A language technique used to drag me in to what Joe was feeling was emotive language as when the text presents a emotive word I get emotionally connected to that feeling and my past experiences. An example of this occurring was with the word ‘nervous’. As I read this word without even relating back to the context I instantly got a tightened stomach, sweaty palms, hunched back and remember a time I was nervous which the one I flash backed to was before a tennis game.

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Chris Waugh