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

At seven o'clock on the night before their departure, Simon and Richard hear an 'eerie wail' that Richard dismisses as a dog (p172). Study the time line of events. Is it possible that the wail they hear is Joe's first cry for help that he howls into the night from the highest point of the moraines? Why or why not? Support or refute this with evidence.

Essay Topic 2

Revisit the Shakespeare soliloquy that Joe hears in his head and eventually recites. Why does this verse come to mind, and why is he familiar with it? Why is it significant that a soliloquy surfaces in his mind, and not another type of speech or writing? What inherent characteristics of a soliloquy make it appropriate to Joe's current circumstances? Does the content of the Shakespeare piece have any significance to Joe's situation? How do you interpret the soliloquy?

Essay Topic 3

In "Ten Years On", Joe includes an excerpt from Simon's book "Against the Wall", in which Simon describes the rope as representing a "powerful symbol of trust and friendship". Cite examples in the book that support or refute this notion. Is the climber's rope simply a safety measure or, as Simon suggests, symbolic of a powerful life-and-death bond of trust between men on the mountain?

(see the answer keys)

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