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Touching the Void Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Joe Simpson (mountaineer)
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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _____________________________ Period: ___________________________

This quiz 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

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.

In the Postscript, Joe says "The scars of six operations stood out lividly on the distorted joint. At least the wounds in my mind had healed better than these." After reading the Epilogue, how do you assess Joe's "healing"? Do you agree? What do you think about Joe's decision to go back and climb mountains again? Do you think this is imprudent, or admirable?

Joe experiences voices, music in his head, hallucinations, delusions, and blackouts. Research the effects of pain, starvation, and dehydration on the brain and relate them to Joe's ordeal and what he experiences. Are his symptoms surprising? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,062 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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