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

The Prologue of the book is the quote by T.E. Lawrence, preceding the first chapter. Why do you think the author chose this excerpt? What do you think it means? How is it significant? What does it have to do with the story?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout his ordeal, Simon mentions the presence of songs and song lyrics in his head, even ones that he hates. Research and write about why this happens in the human psyche. Do you think that this means music plays an important role in Joe's life? How, exactly, is the music helping Joe? Is the music as prevalent as the voices and thoughts? Briefly mention your own experience with this phenomenon when under stress, if any.

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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