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Touching the Void

  • Date Submitted: 12/02/2012 08:30 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.3 
  • Words: 723
  • Essay Grade: no grades
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The event in ‘Touching the Void’ is described as a real accident that had happened to two mountain climbers in Andes. It was structured as two perspectives writing on one story and it shows how they deal with the situation. Joe had broken his leg and was hung on the rope over 19000 feet above the ground. Simon, Joe’s friend and companion, had to make a hard decision: whether or not to cut the rope and leave his friend to die.
The way Joe writes his piece conveys how frightened and scared he was over the incident. The use of dynamic verbs in the first paragraph helps to make an immediate, sudden start and, also, creates a tension: ‘hit’, ‘catapulted’, ‘ripped’, ‘jerked’. Then, he uses metaphors to show his dramatic, vivid pain and extreme intense reaction: ‘pain flooded down my thigh…a wave of nausea…my knee exploded’. The emotive language that was used in Joe’s account puts pressure on the context: ‘screamed’, ‘dark with dread’, ‘turn into a death sentence’. Furthermore, the triple present in the piece makes readers feel that there was no way out for him; it gives the right feeling of hopelessness that occurred in Joe. To make readers emphasize his state, Joe uses factual, short sentences.
Unlike Joe, Simon’s account is rather heartless. He describes his ordinary feelings that had nothing valuable from what had happened to his friend: ‘I felt tired and was grateful…’. The contrast with Joe’s feelings was made by using the verbs ‘rested’, ‘trudged’ that are calm, slow and peaceful. Also, Simon used the words ‘You’re dead’ to make it feel more dramatic, factual and show the harsh conditions of mountain climbing. He ‘accepted without any question’ that he was able to leave his friend suffer from pain and die. But he didn’t want to take the responsibility: ‘I hoped he would fall’. This has conveyed his inhumanity.
Joe’s piece of writing is very emotional, while Simon’s account is quite rational with no trace of empathy. Joe paid attention to the senses, which made...


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