Question – describe at least one important technique used in the written text explain how this technique helped you to understand one or more key ideas.
In “touching the void” by joe simpson different language techniques are used in order to help the reader understand key ideas presented within the text. One of the language techniques used to help understand these key ideas was symbolism.
Throughout the text “touching the void” the rope is used as symbolism. This is first shown when simon has a memory of a past climbing experience where him and his climbing partner, Ian Whittaker, decide to sleep on an unstable mountain side and rely on their ropes to stay intact. At this stage of the text the rope is used as symbolism to present the ideas of: trust, reliance, and dependence. In the night the entire mountain side gives way and falls beneath them: “I felt myself drop swiftly… as I went plummeting down the 2,000 foot abyss below.” both simon and his climbing partner were saved by the rope that was connected to a rock. Simon and his partner hang there by only the rope until help came: “We hung on that fragile rope for twelve formidable hours.” if it wasn’t for the rope joe and ian would have fallen straight to their death. this memory is included in the text to help the reader understand that in this section of the text to simon the rope symbolises a friendship, trust and reliance. (foreshadowing)
This language technique of symbolism is also shown later on in the text when joe and simon are descending the mountain and are attached to each other by the rope. A near death accident then happens when simon is walking on a large overhanging cornice then suddenly it gives way: “There was no warning. No crack. One minute I was climbing, the next I was falling.” while simon falls he is saved by the rope which is attached to joe. the rope is again used to symbolise friendship and reliance but since they are connected to each other simon and joe accept the risk that if one of them falls the other will most likely fall with them. to the reader the ideas of connection and also somewhat of a death-line. (lifeline and deathline)
Further on in the text when simon a joe start the real descent of the mountain the rope is portrayed in a different way to the beginning of the text.