Touching the Void Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

Joe Simpson (mountaineer)
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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the weather look when Joe and Simon start up Siula Grande?

2. What does Simon insist that Joe not do on this trip?

3. What does Joe do to stifle the nausea caused by the pain?

4. What do Joe and Simon climb at the beginning of the ascent on Siula Grande?

5. Before recounting the Mont Blanc incident, Joe determines that Simon...

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain how Joe feels for the two days immediately prior to setting out for Siula Grande.

2. Why is Joe so worried about losing Simon's tracks?

3. What are some of the reasons Richard gives for their expeditious departure?

4. What occurs to Joe at the beginning of "On the Edge"?

5. Why is Joe nervous about the first bivouac site?

6. As Simon descends Siula Grande at the beginning of "Silent Witness", how does he feel about the mountain?

7. What observation does Joe make about tents in the opening scene of the book?

8. Compare or contrast the influence of the incident on The Bonatti Pillar on the climbing careers of Joe Simpson and Ian Whittaker.

9. Describe Simon's feelings at the end of "The Final Choice".

10. After he is safe in the tent at base camp, what does Joe tell Simon?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In the Epilogue, "Bad Memories", Joe talks about his experience of returning to Siula Grande for the filming of "Touching the Void". He says repeatedly that he feels "panic" and mentions post-traumatic stress syndrome. Research the effects of post-traumatic stress syndrome, its history, and the advances in its treatment. Why doesn't Joe get treatment for the disorder? Does he have the disorder? What has helped with getting over his traumatic experience?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the second half of the book, Joe continually refers to two minds. In the chapter, 'Mind Games', Joe says he is 'split in two' (p145). He labels one of these minds 'the voice'. What does Joe hear from his bifurcated inner self, and how does he react to each 'half'?

Essay Topic 3

In the last few discourses of "the voice", how do the tone and content of its messages change? Can you draw an analogy between this and Joe's condition? How does Joe's outlook or state of affairs improve (or worsen) when "the voice" finally leaves him?

(see the answer keys)

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