Creative Writing – La Rambla

In the light of the evening, the streets of La Rambla look welcoming.   The pathway underfoot rattles quietly,` not even noticeable because of the noise around me.   The voices of people and the buzzing of cars drowns out any other noises. Magnificent yachts bob on the horizon, barely visible through the density of the crowd.  Their white sails flying high, the only things visible over all the people and stalls. Shoppers make their way down the rows of stalls stopping every once and a while to have a glance inside and maybe even capture a bargain.  They are dressed in bright colours of blue and green but avoiding the darker shades to help escape the heat. Through the sea of colours, I can see 3 street statues standing proud and tall over the mass of people below them, so still, they’re barely breathing.  As you break away from the busy street you will find that the treasures of La Rambla are not on the streets itself but down a side street where all the locals sell their homemade items in the shade of the towering buildings. Zelda and I navigate down the quiet back streets like a maze until we find a shop.  We go in, looking around to see what we can find and then going to the register to pay for our treasures, waiting until we get home to show our friends what we found.

At dawn,  the previously packed streets of La Rambla look deserted.  No longer welcoming but tranquil and quiet. The once muffled rough tiles of the path rattle under my feet echoing around the street, enclosed by the towering buildings and silence surrounding me.  The drone of voices and cars no longer drowning the sound out. Looking a long way off you can now see the giant yachts rocking and swaying, and beyond the sparkling reflection of the sea as it waves in the early morning breeze.   We walk past the shops their doors pulled down, covered in bright graffiti. The only people around are out for a morning run, in all black blending into the shadows on the street. There is no longer any street statues standing in their place,  the little stools sad, lonely and dull waiting for their colourful artists to return. The back streets seem more like a puzzle to conquer rather than a maze to explore. The dark alleys look scary and daunting rather than fun and treasure-filled.  My friends and I roll our suitcases, peacefully down the cluttering path walking through the maze of streets trying to find our bus. A lot different compared to the noisy walk, shopping yesterday.

The Nature Of Identity Essay

Every individual has a different personality,  we each have different aspects that make us human.  However, every person has a motivation factor, that drive that pushes them to strive for more to be who they want to be although everyone has a different level of drive.  The texts: “I Am Malala” written by Malala Yousafzai, “Wadjda” directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, “Rabbit-Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce, and “Lion” directed by Garth Davis all show the important connection of pursuing your own identity.  All the main characters learn throughout their texts that it is important to be who you are as an individual, and not to let anyone stop you when you want something. If you strive you can achieve.

In the book “I am Malala” written by Malala Yousafzai, the viewer reads Malala trying to fight for the right to go to school.  The reader learns through Malala’s life that when you get knocked down you will get up stronger. Malala was traveling home from school on October the 9th, 2012 when her bus was stopped by 2 Taliban gunman,  the gunmen fired 3 bullets at Malala and her friends, one of the bullets slips under Malala’s skin on the side of her head but as it heads towards her brain that bone causes the bullet to ricochet away and instead smashes her eardrum severs a nerve in her face and hits her shoulder.  This causes Malala to go through a 5-hour life and death operation but when she wakes up all she feels is love. She writes “In order to go forward it is important to have love in your heart, and I want to have love in my heart, I don’t want to have any hate or any bad feelings in my heart and that’s what makes me happy.  I believe that whatever happened bad or good it’s really important to focus on the future, learn from your past but in order to go forward, you have to focus on your future” This shows us that even though she was knocked down she got up stronger. In reality and although it caused her great pain, getting shot helped Malala rise to power and get noticed by the people that would soon help her with getting women back into school in Middle Eastern Countries.  “In a brutal attempt to silence her the Taliban only made her louder.” This quote shows us that the Taliban actually weren’t slowing Malala down the actually speeded up the process of her rising to fame.

“Wadjda” directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, presents the theme of pursuing your own identity.  It shows that letting someone else determine how you should live is never good for your mental health.  For Wadjda this is hard as she struggles with the laws and traditions of her country, Saudi Arabia.

This is shown when Wadjda finds out about a Japanese Quran Recital competition featuring an SR1,000 cash prize.  Wadjda enters the competition with intentions of winning the prize money so that she can buy herself a new bike. She doesn’t care about the traditions about women not being able to ride bikes she just wants to race her friend Abdullah on his bike.  The viewer hears “And what are your plans for the prize money?” asks Ms. Hussa the principal after Wadjda wins the competition, “I’m going to buy a bike from the store down the street” replies Wadjda. A wide shot then shows the whole assembly of girls laughing, for Wadjda this is a significant point as she now has to decide whether to be herself and take the money to buy the bike or abandon her identity to become someone she’s not.  We hear Ms. Hussa say “Wouldn’t it be better if we donated the money to our brethren in Palestine? You know, a bike isn’t a toy for girls. Especially not for well-behaved, devout girls who protect their souls and honor. I’m Sure your family won’t allow it” This is an important quotation in the film because it shows that everything is against Wadjda being herself, her teachers, her family and the traditions of her people all think that she should just fit in with the other girls. This should have been the mental tipping point for Wadjda as everyone was against her but Wadjda does not let herself be molded into the perfect Saudi Arabian Girl and she soon convinces her mother that she is being the best version of herself she can be.  Her mother realizes that she will not be happy living the way she is being taught to live so she goes out and buys the bike for Wadjda herself showing us that by pursuing your own identity you will be happiest and become closer with your friends and family.

Letting someone else determine how you should live can be related to the film “Wadjda” because in the film Wadjda was also “crushed” but instead of physically is was mental as she was laughed at when she tried to be unique.  Like Wadjda, Malala didn’t let tradition or the beliefs of others stop her for if she did a lot of women and children would not be able to attend school and have the opportunity to get a good education today. Like Wadjda, Malala preserved because it was what she believed in and she didn’t let anyone else determine how she should live.

“Rabbit-Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce, teaches us that it is important to not let anyone take away your identity,  for Molly, Gracie and Daisy they show this in many different ways as they struggle with their 1000 mile journey through the outback of Australia.  Molly, Gracie, and Daisy do not want to participate with anything to do with the camp. We hear Molly muttering “Bad place, these people make me sick, make me sick, these people make me sick, this is a bad place” this shows us how angry Molly is that she was kidnapped and separated from her mother and aunt and that she is disgusted about how they are teaching her to live.  Molly, Gracie, and Daisy lives have always been carefree as children’s lives should be they learned to hunt and about their culture and environment and it is daunting being suddenly kidnapped and thrown into a different culture and being told what to do it makes them question how they are ever going to get back to their parents. Molly looks outside and thunder is heard; she realizes that it is going to rain.   This gives Molly the perfect opportunity to get away as the rain would help cover their tracks. She says to Daisy and Gracie: “Come on. Get your things. We’re going. We’re going home to mother.” Molly outsmarts the men chasing her and Gracie and Daisy. She also gains a lot of new skills as a tracker as she is learning how her prey could hide their tracks and she earns the respect of MooDoo the excellent tracker who is hunting them it is evident that he is aware of Molly’s escape tactics and as these become more impressive, he allows her to run. This can be compared to “Wadjda because as we see in Wadjda, Wadjda is positive that she doesn’t want to be molded into the perfect Saudi Arabian girl and that she wants to ride her bike.  Like Molly who is also not letting herself be re-taught in the education camp and runs away to show it. In both films, the girls end up being themselves and showing everybody that nobody is alike and it’s good to be different.

Another aspect of pursuing your own identity in the film “Rabbit-Proof Fence” is that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.  Molly, Gracie, and Daisy are all kidnapped and taken to a re-education camp and they have to walk 1000 miles across the outback of Australia while also avoiding rangers to get home.  Although this task seems damn near impossible Molly isn’t daunted by the task and doesn’t give up hope of making it back home. We hear Daisy say “It’s the fence it’s the fence she found it” when they first find the fence.  This gives all 3 girls but especially Molly and Daisy hope that they will someday get home to their mother. This quotation shows us that through perseverance and skill Molly was able to get to the fence using it not only as a guide to show them the way home but as a sense of hope to help give Molly and the younger girls the motivation they needed to continue in the next leg of the journey.  The scene this quotation is from shows us that no matter how daunting the task as long as you have a positive mindset and you believe you can no task is too great. This is similar to the text “I am Malala” which tells us that Malala went through a similar situation after getting shot when she received all the cards. These cards helped her get back up as they showed her hope from people she didn’t even know but they supported her cause of women and children’s rights.  Molly also is shown hope but her hope is in the form of a fence that showed her the way home. Both girls were in impossible and daunting situations but they both had enough hope and motivation to make it through.

“Lion” directed by Garth Davis shows us that you should never focus on something so much that you push away everything and everyone else.  For Saroo they show this as he continues to feel more empty throughout the film.

This was first shown when Saroo was at a party with his new friends in Melbourne and he sees a dessert that reminds him of his past life.  This is shown by a close up of the dessert, then a close up of Saroo’s face and then a flashback of when he saw the dessert with his biological brother in the market.  While this scene was happening the viewer could hear a loud thumping heartbeat and heavy breathing in the background signifying the fear and claustrophobia he his feeling in this moment in time.  This shows us that Saroo hasn’t really put them memories of his old life to rest and one little trigger has brought the memories and the emotions flooding back. Later we see Saroo surrounded by maps and drawing pins.  We see that he has grown so obsessed with finding the old life that he has pushed away all the things he loved in his new one We hear “Where are you” this shows us that even Saroo’s girlfriend who lives in the same house even thinks he is drifting away from everyone, we hear her say “Home what home you mean where I’m alone in one room and your alone in the other?” This show that even when he is with his family and friends he is still stressing over finding his family.  This is different to the book “I am Malala” because even though both Malala and Saroo are trying to get back to there home town Malala does it by bringing allies and friends closer giving speeches and protesting so that everyone will get home. Saroo, on the other hand, pushes everyone away and this causes for a lonely time in his life as he has now on to share his feelings and emotions with. If Saroo had kept his friends and family close and let them in on what he was doing they would have helped him on his journey and it wouldn’t have been so lonely for him.


It doesn’t matter how much the world is against you, you get to choose to stand up for your self, pursue your own identity or let yourself be shaped into something your not it all depends on you.  It is crucial that in order to live a happy, cheerful life that you enjoy, you need to be yourself and overcome traditions and other peoples beliefs.  This is shown in the texts: “I Am Malala” written by Malala Yousafzai, “Wadjda” directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, “Rabbit-Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce, and “Lion” directed by Garth Davis.  In all of these films/texts, we see the signs of lost identity and the struggle of trying to live without knowing your real family or being shaped into someone your not.  These films/texts all show the reality of the nature of identity and it makes the viewer/reader think about how they would feel in those situations, would you be who you wanted to be or live how others want you to live.  In order to live mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially you need to follow through with your beliefs and not le tradition hold you down.  You have to be able to strive to achieve.

Touching The Void Essay

Describe at least one important technique used written text.  Explain how this technique helped you to understand one or more key ideas.  Note: Techniques could include figures of speech, syntax, word choice, style, symbolism, structure, or narrative point

Key
State
Expand
Example
Response


The Rope

  • Literal Meaning: Connection Between Joe and Simon,, physical and mental support when there is no rope
  • Figurative Meaning: The Feeling of knowing someone is there at the end of the rope, Protection, feels safer, like an umbilical cord, nurture, providing the balance between mindset, care, analogy

The use of the rope in the text, Touching The Void, by Joe Simpson shows us the important key ideas.  When Simon nearly falls to his death, after a cornice of snow falls out from under his feet, Joe was his savior by jumping down the other side of the ridge. “The ropes ran unchecked through my wet icy gloves for a few feet then tugged sharply at my harness.” (Joe) p.55 “There was no warning. No crack. One minute I was climbing, the next I was falling.” This quotation teaches the reader that the rope acts like an umbilical cord providing a lifeline for each of the climbers, as they rely on each other for food, warmth, and care if something goes wrong.  Providing each of them with the balance between a negative mindset and a positive one showing a strong connection of trust. The symbol of the rope is used in both a literal and figurative way. For example, when Joe is being lowered down the west face of the mountain the rope shows us a literal connection between Joe and Simon and it also provides Joe with physical support from Simon as he’s being lowered down the face by himself.  “It needed no pressure. The taut rope exploded at the touch of the blade.”  It shows the reader how quickly the connection can be severed with a knife or a betrayal of trust.  Joe shows the reader how important that connection is when, after he gets separated from Simon, he creates an imaginary connection between him and Simon so that he doesn’t feel alone. Figuratively I think it means that he feels protected and safer knowing that Simon is on the other end of the rope and it gives him comfort to know that he’s there.

The Voice:

  • Literal Meaning: No More Darkness, Seeing A Way Out, Imaginary Connection Between Jo and Simon,
  • Figurative Meaning: Supportive, Not Feeling Alone, Safe, Joe creates an imaginary voice that he thinks gives him that support.

“ I had never been so entirely alone…”  Joe Simpson knows that the connection between two climbers is.  So he uses the Voice as a symbol that Simon is still with him.  After Joe falls into the Void he is immediately at loss without Simon so that when it comes to making decisions that he normally relies on Simon for he hears a voice in his head that tells him what to do.  “It was like there were two minds within me arguing the toss. The voice was clean and sharp and commanding.”   The use of the voice teaches the reader that the connection between two people can be more than is more than physical, the connection between Joe and Simon provides support and protection that helps them through their treacherous journey up and down Siula Grande.   It also teaches us that though we value our alone time when you are in a scary situation like Joe was no one likes being alone, we all need family and friends to be supportive and help us feel safe.  

Light and Dark:

  • Literal Meaning: No More Darkness, Seeing A Way Out,
  • Figurative Meaning: Hope, Life,

The Void:

  • Literal Meaning: Enter Text Here
  • Figurative Meaning: Darkness, Death,

As Joe is losing hope sitting on the ledge in the void the author uses the symbol of light to show Joe the way out.  “A pillar of golden light beamed diagonally from a small hole in the roof, spraying bright reflections off the far wall of the crevasse.” p.132  As Joe sees the light he immediately knew he had to get out, he knew that no matter what happened he was getting out.   I knew without absolute certainty. How I would do it, and when I would reach it was not considered. I just knew. In seconds my whole outlook had changed….The twelve despairing hours I had spent…seemed suddenly to have been nothing like the nightmare I had imagined.” p.133  Once Joe sees the light he has a newfound sense of hope he regains his energy and his ______ to get out in contrast to the light the darkness of the void he was in is so soul-crushing that he is not even afraid The menace was my imagination but I couldn’t stop it playing in my mind.” Even when he does reach the light and get out of the void he thinks it is a dream as he was so close to death.  This shows us that in that kind of situation the smallest piece of hope can change your outlook on life.  

Written Text

Describe at least one important technique used written text.  Explain how this technique helped you to understand one or more key ideas.  Note: Techniques could include figures of speech, syntax, word choice, style, symbolism, structure, or narrative point.

Figurative language: Simile, Metaphor, Personification and Hyperbole

Syntax/Sentence structure/Punctuation: Simple, Compound, Complex, Compound-Complex, Incomplete/Minor

Contrast

Narrative perspective: Changing narrators (Use of I, tone)

Imagery

Repetition

Use of questions

Symbolism/Comparison: The Void, The Rope, The Voice, Light, and Dark

The Rope

Literal Meaning: Connection Between Joe and Simon, The Feeling of knowing someone is there at the end of the rope, physical and mental support when there is no rope Joe creates an imaginary voice that he thinks gives him that support.

Figurative Meaning: Protection, feels safer, like an umbilical cord, nurture, providing the balance between mindset, care.

analogy

 

 

Speech

Introduction

Do many of you get up every day and complain about having to go to school?…… Because I can tell you I do!  We get up everyday complaining about having to go to school and yet Malala gets up everyday fighting for the 57 million woman and children who are deprived of their education, that many of us take for granted, and Malala is trying to get it back.

 

Paragraph One

Thinking of others above herself 11 year old Malala wrote a blog for the BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat. All the candidates refused to write the blog because of the risk of their safety from being exposed to who they were.  But despite this Malala’s father recommended her to the producers of BBC news even with the fear of the Taliban attacking his family if they saw the blog. I think Malala was very brave to take the opportunity because of the threat that it would most probably have on her life.  It would have been very scary but with the maturity of a woman well beyond her years, Malala thought of others and proved to the world that no matter where you are brought up, or in what conditions you live in, everyone can help make a difference if they truly believe in something strong enough.

 

Paragraph Two

As she got older Malala continued to become a Pakistani Activist for female education and the summer following the blog, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region. She rose to prominence, giving interviews on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by a fellow activist “Desmond Tutu”.  Malala has become a very popular by just doing what she thinks is right. She doesn’t think she is doing anything prize worthy she is just doing what she believes needs to be done. I don’t know about you but I think it takes a huge amount of courage to talk to the President of the United States “Barack Obama” let alone remind him and discuss the problems in the world that need to be fixed.

 

Paragraph Three

When Malala was only 15 years old she was given an amazing opportunity to speak out about women attending school, but she did not realise the huge implications and snowball effect this would cause.  Exposing herself and her identity as a woman education activist on worldwide TV is of grave risk, as the Taliban would not like it. The likelihood of getting killed or beaten just for speaking out was high. And as it turned out she was was an actual probability.  

 

Paragraph Four

On October 9, 2012, as she was traveling home from school, Malala’s bus was stopped by two Taliban gunman.  One gunman climbed onto the bus and asked the frightened students “Who is Malala?…..”, this simple sentence changed Malala’s life forever as after finding out who she was, the Taliban quickly fired 3 shots at Malala and two of her friends and then fled the scene with the other Taliban.   One of the bullets hit Malala on the left side of her temple. Dr. Javid Kayani, Malala’s surgeon said “the fact that she didn’t die on the spot or very soon afterward is nothing short of a miracle”. A bullet traveling one thousand km per hour slips under Malala’s skin but as it heads towards her brain that bone turns out to be so strong and curved it forces the bullet to ricochet away and instead smashes her eardrum severs a nerve in her face and hits her shoulder.

 

Paragraph Five

You would think that she would be upset, fearful and disappointed at the person who attacked her after all of the surgery and intensive care she was put you through, but, in an interview on the Oprah Winfrey show Malala explains, “In order to go forward it is important to have love in your heart, and I want to have love in my heart, I don’t want to have any hate or any bad feelings in my heart and that’s what makes me happy.  I believe that whatever happened bad or good it’s really important to focus on the future, learn from your past but in order to go forward, you have to focus on your future” I for one, think that in order to forgive and forget something like being shot you have to be an unbelievably strong person, especially knowing that it could happen again and still not being afraid. Malala teaches us that no obstacle is unbeatable and that if you work hard enough for something you believe in, you can get what you strive for.  Nothing can hold you down unless you let it. In a brutal attempt to silence her the Taliban only made her louder.

 

Paragraph Six

“I am Malala,” she said. “I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education. And today I am not raising my voice. It is the voice of 66 million girls.”   This was what Malala said when she received the Nobel Peace Prize on December the 10th 2014. She also went on to sayIt is not time to pity them”, “it is time to take action so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education”.  Malala knows what it’s like to be deprived of education, she knows how it feels to have everything ripped away from you as the town she grew up in ‘Swat Valley’ was in control of the Taliban for about 5 years for who deprived all females of education and their right to leave the house after turning 12 years old.  In a time like that, think, would you want pity or would you just want your education back.

 

Conclusion

Even with all the popularity and attention at such a young age she still has the world in perspective and hasn’t lost sight of her goals and what she believes in.   Malala is a young woman who has a great personality and a strong will to change the world. Amazingly against all the odds, step by step, she is completing her goal of getting women back into the local schools.  What an incredible achievement for someone so young, I know Malala has got an amazing future ahead of her and “the sky’s the limit” for her and what she can achieve from here.

Thank you

Speech Notes

Malala Yousafzai

  • Malala Yousafzai Urdu, Pashto born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
  • She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school.
  • Her advocacy has grown into an international movement, and according to Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, she has become “the most prominent citizen” of the country.
  • Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Her family came to run a chain of schools in the region. Considering Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Benazir Bhutto as her role models, she was particularly inspired by her father’s thoughts and humanitarian work.
  • In early 2009, when she was 11–12, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC Urdu detailing her life during the Taliban occupation of Swat. The following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York Times documentary about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region. She rose to prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by activist Desmond Tutu.
  • On 9 October 2012, while on a bus in the Swat District, after taking an exam, Yousafzai and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism; the gunman fled the scene. Yousafzai was hit in the head with a bullet and remained unconscious and in critical condition at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, but her condition later improved enough for her to be transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK.  The attempt on her life sparked an international outpouring of support for Yousafzai. Deutsche Welle reported in January 2013 that Yousafzai may have become “the most famous teenager in the world”.
  • Weeks after the attempted murder, a group of fifty leading Muslim clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her.  Taliban officials responded to condemnation by further denouncing Yousafzai, indicating plans for a possible second assassination attempt which was justified as a religious obligation. Their statements resulted in further international condemnation.  Following her recovery, Yousafzai became a prominent activist for the right to education. Based out of Birmingham, she founded the Malala Fund, a non-profit organization, and in 2013 co-authored I am Malala, an international bestseller.   In 2012, she was the recipient of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and the 2013 Sakharov Prize.   In 2014, she was the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi. Aged 17 at the time, this made her the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.  In 2015, Yousafzai was a subject of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary He Named Me Malala. 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured her as one of the most influential people globally. In 2017, she was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons of Canada.  Yousafzai attended Edgbaston High School from 2013 to 2017 and is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
  • she was only 11 when she first wrote a blog for BBC news about what it was like to live in a country with the Taliban her father recommended her for the position after all other candidates refused due to safety risks
  • we get up everyday complaining about having to go to school and yet Malala gets up everyday fighting for the 57 million women around the world
  • How many of you get up every day and complain about having to go to school because I can tell you I have.  We get up everyday complaining about having to go to school and yet Malala gets up everyday fighting for the 57 million women around the world that don’t have an education
  • “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world
  • you would think Malala would be angry at these Taliban that shot her and her friends but when on the Ellen Show Malala states
  • “the fact that she didn’t die on the spot or very soon afterward to my mind is nothing short of a miracle” dr Javid Kayani
  • the chance of being shot at point-blank range in the head and that happening
  • Oprah Winfrey Network she says “In order to go forward it is important to have love in your heart, and I want to have love in my heart, I don’t want to have any hate any bad feelings in my heart and that’s what makes me more happy.  I believe that whatever happened bad or good it’s really important to focus on the future and learn from your past but in order to go forward you have to focus on your future and if everyday for the last three years if I would have cried that why it was me, why it was me nothing would have been done but insted of saying that I said okay I even though I was shot but I’m not just the only girl who becomes victim of discrimination in society or being attacked in terrorism or getting the part of Education there are billions of girls and the best way to fight against terrorisum is to educate girls is to impower their mystery as their voices and in those last three years I made a trip to Jordan to speack out for Syrian refugees and to venture Lebanon in Nigeria and this is like the best event you can ever take.”

“Touching the Void” Chapter 9 – In The Far Distance

Symbolism in literature is where an object, person or situation has an additional meaning to its literal meaning. The symbolism of light and “the voice” in Chapter 9 is used to show Joe’s changing circumstances and his reaction to them.

Use pages 132-133, 135 and 139-40 to explain what light symbolizes in Joe’s situation. How does it change his perspective or affect his actions?

  • The narrator uses the symbol of “the light” so that I as the reader understand the emotions invested in Joe’s journey back to base camp.  As Joe feels like he is about to give up the text states “I was mesmerized by this beam of sunlight burning through the vaulted ceiling from the real world outside.”  showing us that Jow believes that being in the crevasse is not functional, there is no purpose, nothing to do but sit and wait in endless time to dye.   He gives us the feeling that being in the crevasse is cold and dark and he would much rather be out in the sun and light, warm, loved and with a purpose.  The selected text “It had me so fixated that I forgot about the uncertain floor below and let myself slide down the rope. I was going to reach that sunbeam.  I knew it then with absolute certainty.  How I would do it, and when I would reach it were not considered. I just knew it.” tell us that the light is almost like a life source for Joe as when he sees it and automatically wants to go to it.  If there wasn’t any light he might have just stayed sitting on the ledge slowing fading from the world, the light gave him hope that he might just be able to make it back to base camp.  If I was in Joe’s position the light would have definitely helped me get moving as who want’s to be in the dark, cold and alone.

Use pages 141-142 to explain the significance of “the voice” and how it reflects Joe’s mental and emotional state in this section of his journey.

  • “The Voice” in Joe’s head shows his mental and emotional state to the reader.   As Joe is struggling to get back to base he hears a voice in his head that helps him move in the right direction.  He describes the voice as another person so that he doesn’t feel so lonely crawling back through the moraines.  The selected text “Then the voice would tell me I was late and I would wake with a start and crawl again.”  tells us that the voice is more like a climbing companion telling Joe to get a move on so that he would get home in one piece without dying because he kept falling and “resting” or falling asleep.  The text also states  “The voice told me how to go about it, and I obeyed while my other mind jumped abstractly from one idea to another”  showing us that Joe relied fully on this other voice casting his “other mind” away as if it was a hindrance to him getting home safely.   The reader understands from this narration that Joe is so mentally and emotionally weak from the all the days without food, water or rest that his life now depends on a voice inside his head.  He treats the voice as if it is Simon there on the mountain with him as Simon was the dependant leader of the climbing pair and Joe relied on his reassurance before he made the decision and if the voice replacing Simons presence and if it wasn’t there he would have surely died.  This presents interesting reality about Joe’s survival: If Joe didn’t hear the voice would he have died? Could he have made his own decisions? Is it excusable for him to lose all responsibility for himself when his life is in danger or couldn’t he help it?

Mood and Tone

MOOD refers to the atmosphere (or feelings) created in a passage of writing. Words that might describe the “Mood” of the passage are: threatening, restful, nostalgic, peaceful, chaotic, joyful or jubilant, sad or melancholic…etc.

TONE refers to the attitude of the writer (in our case, the narrator) towards what is happening in the passage. Words that might describe the “Tone” of the passage are: humorous, angry, witty, direct, positive, sensitive, nervous or hesitant, questioning, unconcerned…etc.

Here is a site that lists a number of words to describe MOOD and TONE:

LIST OF TONE AND MOOD WORDS

It is important to understand, that the MOOD (atmosphere created) and TONE of the passage (the attitude of the writer towards what is happening) are created through:

  1. The word choice
  2. The language techniques used (I have posted a handout as a quick reference for language techniques)
  3. The sentence structure/syntax

“Touching The Void” Chapter 8 – Silent Witness

TASK:

Describe the MOOD and TONE in each passage. Also, explain how this MOOD and TONE was created. I.e. Reference any word choice, language techniques used, or sentence structure chosen.

“The first feelings of panic built up as I stared wildly from one crevasse to another. Had we gone above or below that one? Or was it that lower one? I couldn’t remember. The harder I tried the more confused I became, and eventually I was weaving a contorted and terrifying path, unsure of where I was heading.” Page 123

  • The paragraph “The first feelings of panic built up as I stared wildly from one crevasse to another. Had we gone above or below that one? Or was it that lower one? I couldn’t remember. The harder I tried the more confused I became, and eventually I was weaving a contorted and terrifying path, unsure of where I was heading.” on page 123 gives a negative and dark feeling to the reader.  The narrator uses words like panic, wildly, contorted and terrifying to set the mood of the passage. The words help the reader visualize the atmosphere of the situation and what the narrator is experiencing.  The reader visualizes crevasses on all sides like a never-ending maze and being stuck in the middle not knowing where you have been or which way to go.

“It was a lonely place to rest.  In the huge chaos of the moraines, I had sat down to rest at the one spot where I would be reminded. We and sat in the same spot six days earlier. All our keen excitement, and the healthy strong feel in our bodies, had become an empty memory.” Page 125

  • In the paragraph on page 125 “It was a lonely place to rest.  In the huge chaos of the moraines, I had sat down to rest at the one spot where I would be reminded. We and sat in the same spot six days earlier. All our keen excitement, and the healthy strong feel in our bodies, had become an empty memory” the narrator uses words like lonely and empty to describe the attitude of the narrator and the tone of the text, they make the narrator seems depressed, sad and at a loss.  The narrator also uses contrast to contribute to the tone of the text, it strengthens the aspect of the narrator now being alone in the snow emphasizing the difference between “excitement, healthy and strong” and “lonely, chaos and empty”.

“Touching The Void” Chapter 7 – Shadows In The Ice

Contrast is used to show Joe’s conflicting feelings and experiences in this chapter.

For example, he describes the black space below him in the crevasse as: “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” (page 110), but then contrasts these dark images with descriptions of the night sky: “small hole in the roof, where the sky was cloudless, packed with stars, and moonlight was adding its glow to their bright sparkle.” (page 111)

Similarly, Joe had previously stated that he believed, he and Simon would die on this mountain: “I accepted that I was to die. There was no alternative.” “How long will you be, Simon? I thought. How long before you join me? (page 107)” However, later in the crevasse, he states: “Alive!…I laughed through the burning, and kept laughing hard, feeling tears rolling down my face (page 109)” “Simon…I couldn’t conceive of him dead, not now, not after I’ve survived.” (page 111)

Explain why contrast is used in these sections of the text. How does contrast assist the reader to understand Joe’s feelings and experiences in this chapter?

  • The use of contrast in these sections of the text strengthens the two aspects by showing up the difference to emphasize a change or difference or idea

The rope in the text could be seen as the connection and accountability that exists between Joe and Simon. Joe’s hope resides in the fact that Simon is still connected to the end of this rope (pages 113-114) What happens to this connection, sense of accountability when Joe pulls on his end of the rope, while in the crevasse? Use quotations from the text to support your answer.

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EXTENSION: Why do you believe Joe lowered himself deeper into the crevasse? (page 116)