29th August 2018

Significant Connections AS1.8 #2

Intro:

“… But a singular sense of impending calamity, that should indeed have served me as a warning, drove me onward…”

Foreshadowing is a way authors and directs can easily draw in viewers/readers to keep them wanting to know more. In the texts “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, “Touching The Void” by Joe Simpson, “Everest” directed by Baltasar Kormakur and “The Day After Tomorrow” directed by Roland Emmerich the authors/directors use foreshadowing to create tension. We learn that humans need releases of tension build up and in these texts the only way is to carry on watching/reading until the climax.

Body:

Text 1:

In “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, John uses foreshadowing many times to create tension for the reader to show that a dramatic event is approaching. This occurs when Scott Fischer the leader of another climbing team made a phone call to work associates from Seattle and when he ends the call Jon Krakauer makes the comment “Neither woman imagined these would be the last conversations they would ever have with Fischer.” This comment instantly makes the reader feel tension as they now know that there is an event in the near future that causes Fischer to not make it down the mountain alive therefore the reader is anticipating this catastrophic event as they know that if Fischer one of the strongest climbers does not make it down alive there must be other casualties of the weaker climbers. It also teaches us that we can under value small moments that can end up being very special to you as the woman do not know that they will never speak to him again. Another thing it shows is that through the use of foreshadowing the author can draw in readers making them want to keep reading, this is because they need to release the tension that has built up and the only way to release that tension is through reading and getting to the climax of the text. Another time that Jon Krakauer uses foreshadowing to create tension is when Lopsang a major sherpa for Scott Fischer’s climbing team decides to tow Sandy Hill – an author – up the hill, but this causes lopsang to become very tired and he does not complete the tasks like setting the ropes he was meant to do. The note Jon Krakauer makes is: “But it would end up being one of the many little things – a slow accrual, compounding steadily and imperceptibly towards critical mass.” this shows that due to lopsang’s choice he slowed down the whole group of climbers, so they had a later summit therefore getting caught in the storm which is what Jon described as “critical mass”. this note also foreshadows that there is a situation later in the text that is extensive and dangerous shown when he says “critical” and also massive when he says “compounding steadily and imperceptibly” this creates tension as the reader is again foreseeing this event and as more foreshadowing occurs this tension builds up to become more predominant. it also shows that when we make plans it is best to stick to them as the plans are made to keep us on track and in their situation survive, as lapsing did not stick to the plan and was a reason for the disaster that occurred. Also as I said before Jon Krakauer is just drawing the reader in more and more until the “critical mass” arises as the reader wants a release of this tension build up.

Text 2:

In “Touching The Void” by Joe Simpson, Joe uses Foreshadowing in many instances to create tension to show how the characters can cause a terrible event to happen. one instance of when this happens is when Joe Simpson had slipped when climbing and ended up breaking his leg, Simon does not think he can get Joe down the mountain as he is watching him attempt to traverse through the snow, he says “I kept staring at him expecting him to fall”. When Simon says “expecting” he is forecasting this event that Joe will fall which also shows us that Simon does not really care for Joe anymore as he is just an object now lowering his own chance of surviving therefore we as the reader know that Simon will not try as hard to get Joe down the mountain and if he needs to, will leave Joe for his own safety which shows that humans will put their own safety first that we are the centre of our own world and will think for ourselves before we think for others. It also shows how we can make situations worse as Simon will not try his hardest to get Joe down so he could be a bit reckless which could make the situation they are in worse which is what happened with Joe going over the cliff as Simon did not worry about what could happen whereas if he had tried his hardest they could have possibly easily got down the hill. This creates tension for the reader as we are now anticipating this time when everything goes wrong and Simon has to leave Joe for dead as in the quote it has foreshadowed this event for us. Another time Joe Simpson uses foreshadowing to create tension is when Simon was lowering Joe down the mountain to save him but Joe was just about to fall over a 100ft cliff and Joe said “He’s trying to be quick…that’s all. I knew it to be true, but there was still something wrong.” This quote creates tension as the reader instantly thinks that there could be something wrong because Joe is having an eerie feeling so know the reader is feeling it as well and have in the back of their mind that soon they could get into a situation where the characters could die. This quote also shows that Joe is not thinking of the possibility that their situation could get worse as they have already had a lot of misfortune teaching us that as humans we can easily make bad situations worse by forgetting that worse things can happen and get reckless to get out of their situation like how Joe and Simon are just sending it down the mountain not thinking that something could go wrong and assuming it’s just a straight road home from there. The foreshadowing in this text is similar to “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer as In both texts the author uses all of the foreshadowing to create tension before the summit which could be called the climax as all of the bad events happen from there. For example in “Into Thin Air” a large group of people get stuck in a storm and some people die on the descent and in  “Touching The Void” Joe breaks his leg and gets dropped into a crevasse on the descent.

Text 3:

In the movie “Everest” directed by Baltasar Kormakur based off the book “Left For Dead: My Journey Home From Everest” by Beck Weathers, Baltasar Kormakur uses foreshadowing to create tension for the viewers. This occurs  firstly right at the start when Rob Hall is at the airport just about to leave to go to Nepal. The director makes this scene dramatic when Rob is waving to his wife saying goodbye by adding sad music which shows us that Rob does not come back from the expedition. We then as the viewer gain the first piece of tension as we now know there is a significant event causing Rob to die and like I said above how if one of the strongest climbers does not survive there must be other casualties. This can also teach us about human nature that we can underestimate things we have already done like how Rob Hall has climbed Mount Everest 4 other times so he thinks it is a walk In the park and he will be fine but he has forgotten about the massive dangers as he is underestimating how hard it is to climb Everest therefore he ends up dying. Another time in the movie that this foreshadowing is used to create tension is when the group is climbing and they pass the body of a dead sherpa in the snow, the director uses an over the head shot of the dead body to show the reactions of each climber when they see it as they walk past. We can see the faces of the climbers all become quite shocked as they realise that death while climbing up the hill is a lot more likely than they realised. This shot also puts in the back of the viewers mind that that group could die as the director makes the scene so significant and longer than it needed to be. This can also teach us that as humans when we are in a group we can forget the risks and assume that we are fine but this body reminds this group for a moment that they still could not get off this mountain alive this is also proven as a lot of horrific events happen to people when they are in groups as they all have different opinions and some could clash and be bad decisions causing the horrific events to occur. This foreshadowing is similar to both “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer and “Touching The Void” by Joe Simpson as again the foreshadowing by Baltasar Kormakur is used all before the summit as all of the significant events happen on the decent so all of this tension is built up until the summit and then released as all the events that the viewers are anticipating happen at once – on the descent.

Text 4:

In the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” directed by Roland Emmerich, Roland uses foreshadowing many times to create tension for the reader. This happens at the beginning of the movie when no one has realised that something is going wrong with the weather, what happens is that firstly a huge crevasse appears in Antarctica breaking the whole ice shelf off, and then the sea temperatures start to drop, then hail the size of tennis balls fall on a sunny day in Asia and then finally the most powerful storm occurs in USA. All of these events that occur are forecasting a massive storm that is about to happen which creates tension as we as the viewer know this is going to happen but the characters do not. This shows us how Roland has used foreshadowing to create tension and draw the viewer in to want to keep watching and that we need this release of tension otherwise we will carry it around with us until we get the release. Another time that foreshadowing creates tension for the reader is when the major storm is about to hit and everyone is still oblivious to what is about to happen but all the animals have started acting weirdly and a mass of bird fly across the sky as they migrate south to stay warm and get away from the storm. this creates tension as again we know that a massive storm is about to hit but the characters still do not so we are anticipating the storm and waiting until everyone realises something bad is about to happen. We can also learn that as humans we are quite oblivious to the world when we just get into our regular lives with regular 9 – 5 jobs and everything just becomes automatic and we forget that catastrophic events can happen at any moment like massive earthquakes or in this case a storm so we just brush off the thought that the world could be ending tomorrow. This is different to “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer,  “Touching The Void” by Joe Simpson and “Everest” directed by Baltasar Kormakur as the foreshadowing to create tension is a lot more connected and over time as the director put in scenes like the tennis ball hail in Asia which builds on all of the other foreshadowing until we eventually realise that a storm is coming whereas in the other three texts/movie is a lot more direct and singular like the waving goodbye scene in “Everest” is not related to other foreshadowing moments later in the movie and we just straight away know that something bad will happen to Rob Hall.

Conclusion:

Keeping Texts gripping is easy through the use of foreshadowing; by building up tension the readers/viewers can’t look away! This is demonstrated in the texts “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, “Touching The Void” by Joe Simpson, “Everest” directed by Baltasar Kormakur and “The Day After Tomorrow” directed by Roland Emmerich. In all four of these texts the directors/authors use foreshadowing to keep them interested and wanting to know more. From this we learn that humans need to release tension build up due to the foreshadowing used by the directors/authors, and that we will get sucked into the plot of the text until we get this tension release.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Ben, many of your comments about the effect of foreshadowing are fair and well-supported by evidence. However, to strengthen your discussion, I would like you to consider that the purpose of foreshadowing is not only to “prepare the reader for what is to come” but that the very references that are used to foreshadow events, also teach valuable lessons about the characters, the decisions, the events and the setting of the text. Broaden your analysis to suggest what other valuable lessons the reader/viewer can take away from these references.
    * Doing this, will also enable you to make additional connections between texts.

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