List some of the problems the men face trying to get down the mountain. Include quotations from the text (pages 85-94) to support these ideas.
In chapter 6, Joe and Simon face problems when trying to get down the mountain. The major problem that they come across is Joe breaking his leg. Because of this injury they have to face many more obstacles such as decision making, e.g Simon must make a choice whether to risk his own life in order to try save Joe, or to leave Joe to die and save himself….
How does Joe, recreate the tension felt when he is lowered over the cliff “into the void”? Consider any structural (syntax), language or narrative techniques he uses to recreate the intensity of this experience. (pages 94-96)
The mood changes suddently in chapter 6 “The Final Choice” when the cliff begins to steepen and a sense of great danger rushes over Joe. Joe recreates this feeling of danger by using short simple and minor sentences. For exapmle at the bottom of page 94, after he states that Simon has not lost control, but there was still something wrong, he says “it was the slope. Of course!” he realises that the angle of the slope was getting steeper, and says “that could only mean one thing- I was approaching another drop.” The beggining of the descent seems to foreshadow this part in the text, Joe uses phrases like grinned confidently and encouraging sign to make it seem like they were on
Read through “Simon’s narration” describing this event. List significant details from this account which may support Simon’s decision to “cut the rope.” Why is it important that Simon’s perspective is included in this section of the text?
As Simon lowers Joe for the next part of the descent, he begins to lose motivation to get Joe down the mountain safely by his side. The weather was getting worse and all Simon wanted was to be home and out of the cold. His hands were badly frost-bitten, so he was struggling with holding Joe’s weight on the rope, he didn’t care so much about the amount of pain Joe was in, just how fast they could get to the bottom. On page 100, Simon explains I had hurt him all the way down. It was strange being so cold about it. It had been hard not to feel for him. It was easier now. We had made such progress. Efficient. I felt proud about it. These short, sharp, minor sentences, help tell the reader that even though Joe feels more pain the faster Simon lowers the rope, Simon cares more about getting to base-camp safely himself, than descending slowly to ensure Joe’s leg is okay.
It is important that Simon’s perspective is included in this part of the text, for the reader to understand the way Simon feels about the actions that must take place. His perspective in this chapter tells the reader that he doesn’t seem to have any emotion about the fact he must potentially kill Joe in order for him to survive. Even after he takes action and cuts the rope, all he can think about if the fact he is alive, it doesn’t even cross his mind to feel sorry for Joe. However it also makes us realise that he is pretty much in a life or death sittuation and has no choice than to cut the rope if he wants to get out alive.