Touching the Void Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is spindrift?

2. What do Norma and Gloria sell to Richard and Joe?

3. Joe recalls an incident with climber Ian Whittaker in which country?

4. When Joe falls and lands on the slope at the base of the cliff, what happens?

5. What device does Joe wish they had in their possession as they descend from the summit of Siula Grande?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens on The Bonatti Pillar on Les Petits Drus in the French Alps?

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

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

4. Describe the Peruvian family that lives in the huts.

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

6. In "Storm at the Summit", how does Joe get a bloody lip and a cracked tooth?

7. At the beginning of "Disaster", what is Joe's attitude?

8. What worries Joe and Simon the most about the final part of the route to the summit?

9. Describe the first bivouac site on Siula Grande.

10. Toward the end of "On the Edge", Joe awakens in the snow hole with what sensation?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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