16th March 2018

The Final Choice – Chapter 6

1. Some of the problems Simon and Joe faced when Simon was lowering Joe down the mountain included, the weather was becoming bad causing the temperature to lower making their frostbitten fingers worse, shown in the quote ‘The rising wind and continuous spindrift avalanches drowned out all communications’. A problem Joe was facing was the pain of the lowering as Simon was lowering him very quickly as they needed to get down as soon as possible but this the caused Joe’s bad leg to get caught a lot and it would flare up in pain, his pain is displayed when he says ‘Simon had let me slide faster than I had expected and, despite my cries of alarm and pain, he had kept the pace of descent going.’                       ‘I was concentrating on abseiling carefully, and had become quite engrossed in what I was doing.’ This was another obstacle that the two of them had to face, it was a steep section that they had to abseil down but this was hard for Joe as he only had one good leg making abseiling harder the usual and taking away more time then they would have wanted as they needed to get down quickly.

2. Joe recreates tension when he is being lower over the cliff “into the void”. He does this through the language techniques of foreshadowing and imagery, foreshadowing is when an author puts in hints or indicators of future events in the text which can be bad or good. The text states ‘He’s trying to be quick…that’s all. I knew it to be true, but there was still something wrong.’ this is a section with foreshadowing in it. This quote tells us that there is something wrong which will lead to a bad consequence or situation making the reader anticipate the event causing tension as they are waiting for it to occur but do not know what and how it will happen just that it will. Imagery is when the author uses specific descriptive words to put an image in the readers mind about what is happening and what it is like for the two climbers. Some of the words Joe used include ‘space’, ‘darkness’ and ‘Impossible’. These all put negative images in our mind as they are all stereotypically thought as bad things, this then creates tension within the reader as it makes the reader anxious and fearful of the situation the characters are in and what they are going through.

3. Simons narration in chapter 6 has many significant details that help to support his decision to “cut the rope”. A detail was the situation that he was in, Simon had frostbitten hands, he was very tired and had been holding Joe’s weight for about an hour. The strength Joe was using is shown in the quote ‘I was shaking with cold. My grip on the rope kept easing despite my efforts’. He had no other choice as soon he would run out of strength and be pulled off the mountain with Joe, so it was a choice of either both of them dying or just Joe dying, and Simon made the rational decision of at least one of the two surviving. Another detail is that Joe wrote Simons narration and with all the details in it it can be said that Joe was trying to defend Simon and his decision to “cut the rope” as if that piece of text was not in the book he would be socially unaccented as it is very similar to murder as he allowed Joe to die and he was the reason that Joe didn’t come back. A piece of text that Joe wrote to make Simon seem less like the bad guy was ‘There was no other option left to me.’ this shows that he had no other choice and nothing that he could do or could’ve done would change what he had to do for at least one of the pair to survive and make it home to tell everyone what had happened.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Detailed, supported answers, Ben- well done for effectively following the State, Expand, Example, Response formula for these reflections. Your answers are easy to read 🙂
    * I appreciate that you have included the “reader” in your second answer. Continue to reflect about what the reader feels, experiences or learns about the men, their situation, or human nature in general, from these selected sections of the text.

    Well-developed responses thus far.


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