19th March 2018

chapter 6 – final choice

in chapter 6 Simon and Joe are faced with multiple potentially life threatening situations. one of the problems they face is when Simon is lowering Joe down the face to rescue him but Joe is experiencing intense pain in is leg where he shattered his knee  joint. we gain an understanding of Joe’s ongoing pain when the book quotes “despite my cries of alarm and pain, he had kept the pace of the descent going”. another problem the men face while descending the mountain is when Joe has fallen over the edge of a cliff while being lowered by Simon. “i was sure he was gambling on being able to get me down before the knot jammed. secretly i hoped he could, and knew with certainty that he had no chance” this is tells us Joe may not be able to be lowered any further because of the knot holding the two ropes together. the text later confirms there is no more rope left when Simon’s narration is included and he says “could I hold the rope with one hand below the knot and change the plate over”.

Joe recreates the tension felt while he is being lowered over the cliff. he does this by using different language and writing techniques. for example “He’s trying to be quick…that’s all. I knew it to be true, but there was still something wrong”. this is called foreshadowing, where Joe uses subtle hints to indicate an upcoming event. in this case when Joe says “there was still something wrong” it creates tension for the reader because they are left with the thought of something going wrong in the back of there mind, anticipating something bad is going to happen. another language technique Joe used was personification, giving human characteristics to something non-human. this is shown when Joe is talking about the cold taking over his body; “it would ease its way up, following veins and arteries, creeping inexorably through me”. Joe is giving the cold human like attributes. this is to connect the reader to the object personified in this case the cold, giving the reader an understanding of the cold consuming Joe’s body. 

Simon’s narration is included in chapter 6 to give significant detail supporting why Simon made the decision to cut the rope. this is important in this section of the text because it gives the reader a justified explanation to why Simon chose to save his life rather than them both of dying together. information from Simon’s narration like; “my legs had numbed as the pressure on my cut supply away” shows the pain and difficulty that Simon is experiencing because of the harness and weight caused by Joe hanging. also; “the avalanche pushed me forward and filled the seat behind my back. oh god! i’m coming off”. this tells us that Simon is in danger of fully slipping out of his seat which would cause him to fall to his death with Joe. once Simon had met breaking point “There was no other option left to me” he decided to cut the rope, this is quote shows us that he had run out of options and was not capable of saving Joe.  if Simon’s narration was not included in the text the reader will find it difficult to understand why Simon chose to cut the rope and act selfishly. without the narration Simon would be viewed by the readers as the bad guy that allowed Joe to die. 


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