Touching the Void Test | Final 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. The morning after Simon cut the rope, he descends down the mountain. What does Simon believe to be Joe's fate?

2. Besides the commands of the voice, what does Joe rely on to keep him going?

3. As he lowers himself deeper into the crevasse, what does Joe stare at?

4. Gloria and Norma are gawping at Simon. Why?

5. After reciting a soliloquy as a preoccupying game, Joe realizes what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Joe decide to descend deeper into the crevasse?

2. After he sees the frayed ends of the cut rope, what goes through Joe's mind?

3. The morning after arriving back at base camp, Simon revisits his feelings about the place while urinating on a boulder. How does he describe these emotions?

4. In the moraines, what device plays a crucial role in Joe's survival?

5. When Joe finally clears the crevasses of the glacier and arrives at the moraines, what painful condition does he realize that he is stricken with, and how does he describe it?

6. What are some of the reasons Richard gives for their expeditious departure?

7. When does the "voice" utter its first words of discouragement? What does it tell Joe?

8. As Simon descends Siula Grande at the beginning of "Silent Witness", how does he feel about the mountain?

9. What does Joe discover upon reaching the "bottom" of the crevasse?

10. How does Joe describe his night in the moraines under the stars?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Climbers acclimatize before a climb, meaning that they adjust to the conditions, especially the lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. To what other conditions, either physical or mental or both, does Joe "acclimatize" throughout the story?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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