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Touching the Void Essay

In this traumatic, edgy account of ‘Touching the Void’ you are given two scenarios of two men in completely different mind sets as they are faced with tough choices. The writer portrays Joe full of emotion and in intense pain while Simon accepts reality and thinks logically. The sentence structure of the two stories are arranged diversely. In Joe’s story there is use of short sentences such as “I’m Dead.”, which depicts how Joe has lost all hope and is on the edge of dread. On the other hand, Simon uses quite lengthy, descriptive sentences for his experience such as “I accepted without question that I could get off the mountain alone” Which portrays how he doesn’t seem to care about the real predicament. Unlike Joe, he is caring about the safety of himself. He seems to be in more control of the situation and is settling on the fate of Joe but does not mention how he desperately wants to save his ‘friend’. The writer portrays Joes tone as him being irrational and quite negative towards the situation, “Very much alone” shows he is anxious and thinks pessimistically.

He tries to think positively, like when he says “maybe I’ve just ripped something” which shows his determination and will as well as he doesn’t want to give in. Simon on the other hand uses a very formal tone as he seeks to only care about himself, “I couldn’t help him” and “He looked Pathetic” makes Simon seem careless and emotionless, the complete opposite to Joe, something that the writer does to make the two accounts more distinctive. Repetition, this is shown throughout the text from Joe and Simon. Joe uses repetition when he says “My leg!…My leg!” This shows the true pain that Joe was in and highlights the importance of the problem, the ellipsis is there to show the realization of what has just happened or maybe it was just an extra big breath from Joe. Simon uses Repetition when he keeps repeating “I” which shows how he once again only cares about himself and seems like a selfish person. The writer made sure that Joe and Simon used different emotive language, Joe used very emotional language while Simon was straight forward. Joe’s character was portrayed by the writer as a pleasant guy who not only cares about himself.

For example when he was in agony, thought it was all over and was going to die he wasn’t thinking about himself, he was thinking about how Simon would be able to get down. “Simon would be ripped off the mountain” again shows his concern for Simon when his leg was in a “grotesque distortion”. Simon doesn’t use a lot of emotive language because he is represented as emotionless when he says “In a way I hoped he would fall”. The real difference in characters shown by the writer is that Joe says “I’m dead.” and Simon says “You’re Dead…”. In Conclusion, the writer has presented both these aspects of the experience by differing them to the point where they seem to be the opposite of each other, by doing this he has used all sentence structure, tone, repetition and emotive language to create a dual voice text.


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