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 are Joe Simpson and Ian Whittaker doing when the ground breaks out from underneath them?

2. At one of the lowering changeovers, Simon smiles at Joe, and Joe realizes that their partnership...

3. After lowering Joe down, what is Simon's signal that Joe needs to take his weight off the rope?

4. Simon tells Joe that he is knackered. What does this mean?

5. Why does Simon cut the rope?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. While trying to reach base camp, what single thought springs Joe into action, but also holds the possibility of being the final death of him?

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

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

5. While thinking about the possibility of having fallen off the ridge while roped together, Joe talks about what incident witnessed by Simon?

6. When Simon sees the cliff over which Joe had been hanging, how does he feel?

7. Why does Simon cut the rope?

8. What is Joe's plan of action if Simon falls through, or off, the ridge again?

9. While trying to find the North Ridge again after leaving the summit, what happens to Simon?

10. What logic does Joe use to assume that Simon believes he is dead?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What influence does Richard have on the outcome of this story? Is he significant? Would the outcome have been different if Richard had not been with them?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Simon's inner conflict regarding telling the truth about what happened. How does he justify the fabrication of a lie or the editing of the complete truth? How does he justify complete honesty? Does he believe he will be criticized? If so, why, and by whom? Does he believe he will receive support? If so, why, and by whom?

Essay Topic 3

Compare and/or contrast Joe's use of patterns and rhythm throughout the book. Does he use them as a function of his personality, as a result of the essence of climbing, or out of necessity? Discuss the appearance of these patterns in climbing, in the rescue attempt, and in Joe's journey back to base camp.

(see the answer keys)

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