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. After coming to the conclusion that Joe is dead, Simon is determined to do what?

2. What name does Joe shout over and over in the crevasse?

3. What does Joe lack the courage to do?

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

5. Upon clearing the crevasses and reaching the moraines, what does Joe realize?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

4. Describe Joe's one article of clothing that Simon can't bring himself to burn.

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

6. While crawling away during his escape from the crevasse, what is Joe's most common excuse for stopping, and what persuades him to continue?

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

8. Through the moraines, Joe's watch is a strong preoccupation. Besides pain, what is his obsession?

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

10. While abseiling to the right of the wall over which Joe had tumbled, why does Simon suddenly stop his descent?

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

Joe mentions more than once in the book that he has strange feelings of dread or uneasiness before bad things happen. Why do you think this is? What are Joe's ambiguous feelings on the summit? Research other climbers' similar comments, and compare. Why does he continue to climb mountains if he is so dubious about the ultimate objective? Is the journey more important, or the destination, or even the return journey? Do you think the unspoken final objective of mountain climbers is the summit, or actually making it back alive to tell about it?

Essay Topic 3

Did Simon do the right thing by cutting the rope? Joe staunchly defends him. Discuss the moral and ethical issues at hand.

(see the answer keys)

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