1.1 written text essay: “touching the void”


  1. symbolism: mountain, rope and voice
  2. narative voice / narrative prespective / point of nurration:  joe simpson and simon yates
  3. figurative language: simile, metaphor, personification,hyperbole
  4. imagery: the combination of discription language techniques for certain tequniques for certain effect.
  5. conflict(tension filled moments): create through word choice and syntax
  6. syntax dyfrent types have diffrent effects


alan turing


imagine coming to work and attempting to solve a code that has 15 Quintilian possible combinations that’s a 15 with eighteen zeros behind it and that same code changes every 24 hours so the work that you have done on that day effectively becomes useless. imagine having the opportunity to save thousands of life’s and having to say no.  imagine coming to work and having to hide who you really are .well mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing had to face all of these.  :46


enigma is a Nazi machine used to encode there communications with multiple setting’s that can be used.  this is one of the machines that Alan Turing was  asked to solve as it was classified as something essential to be solved.  the Nazis used there code for anything from weather reports to direct orders from  Hitler himself as the Nazis considered the code unsolvable. Turing’s brilliance was first displayed in 1940 when  he adapted  a polish machine to create a anti-enigma machine called a bombe and in 1943 they were cracking 84,000 enigma messages per month. turning was personally responsible for solving a more complex form of enigma being used by the u-boats that at the time were blocking and sinking the merchant convoys. as Winston Churchill later quoted “the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril” which shows just how crucial solving the code was.

okay so if we imagine  then we just solved enigma and got a message stating this “the locations of the German subs  is 57 23 ” and you knew that  your countries boats were traveling through that area what would you do.  celebrate solving the code. send a message to them,  tell the head of your area? while all of these seem logical Alan Turing saw the best solution. that being, do nothing. let that crew die. I know what your thinking why would they do that. simple if the British dogged every obstacle then it would be clear that the Nazis unbreakable code had been broken and the Germans would just change protocol and it would all become useless.  and your opportunity to save millions has just been wasted. but of course they did save millions but they had to be smart about it . so Alan Turing came up with a equation that  would calculate the maximum amount of lives that could be saved without letting the Germans suspect anything.as well as this he had to convince his peers and leaders that it had to be secret. this approach has been credited with saving 14 million lives and reducing the length of the war by 2 years.Alan knowingly  wrote of thousands with out without a moments hesitation when he fully under stood the repercussions  of this discovery. his fast thoughts under his own mental pressure that he placed upon himself resulted in the long term with millions of lives saved. but as well as keeping it quite immediately it was also something that Alan had to take to the grave as it was of such huge significance. he could share it with no one bar the few that already knew which must of made it very difficult to deal with. but Alan’s persevered  well out side of his comfort zone . and ultimately led to the end of the war  which we can all be happy about. so if you think about it “sacrifice a few to save millions.”

as well as cracking secret codes he had his own secret. Alan turning was gay. in the time that Alan truing lived in Britain homosexuality was illegal and considered a threat to national security.  so through all of his struggles he had to keep the secret.  but in 1952 he was convicted with gross indices with another man.  in court he was found guilty and given the  choice between prison or hormonal treatment. he chose hormonal treatment and endured a full year of horrible treatment. hormone treatment or chemical castration is used to reduce or eliminate ones sexual drive because at the time being gay was treated as a mental illness. the British at the time believed that they could  cure gay men with chemical castration, which of course they couldn’t. and of course there were side effects. in Alan Turing case he experienced side effects of a bloated physique and breast enlargement. 2 years later after going through the medication he was found dead and a post-Mortem examination determined that the cause of his death was cyanide poisoning. his body was found next to a half eaten apple so it is speculated to be the way he committed suicide. so while he did all of his incredible work on the war he had to keep his homosexuality a secret which must have stressed him and forced him out of his comfort zone quite a lot.  but after his war efforts he was kept under extremely high security due to the secrets he and his colleges held. due to this higher surveillance he was under significantly more pressure then before to keep his homosexuality a secret. this is surely must have been something playing on his mind before he committed suicide.


Alan Turing’s systematic approaches significantly effected the path of humanity with solving the Nazi code allowing the allied forces to know exactly what will be happening but then his mental strength to deal with keeping his achievement secret and resulting with thousands of deaths that he consciously wrote off to save 14 million lives and shorten the war by 2 years. all while hiding that he was gay. this determination and utter genius ultimately changed the world forever. and for his whole short life he was considered a nobody and driven mad by his own government he committed suicide.  “sometimes it is the people that no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine”. this is a quote from Alan Turing referring to himself and how despite the world thought that he couldn’t change  the world,  his unique way of thinking  changed the world in ways no one could imagine. the mental challenges that he faced like dealing with allowing people to die as well as keeping his homosexuality a secret must have certainly been a constant struggle for him during some of the tougher times in his life. this genius revolutionized the world in ways they couldn’t imagine. and if we had learnt to accept his differences who  knows were the world would be now. this story teaches us to accept all people no matter there differences because as far as you know that persons about to change the world in ways you can not Imagine.


chapter 9

in chapter 9 light is used to symbolise hope for joe’s survival. after the rope is cut and joe falls in the crevasse he begins to lose his drive to survive and starts  accept that he is dead and that there is no chance of joe surviving. as the night drags on he becomes more and more certain that he will not survive.  but as the light of day comes out his thoughts become clearer and he decides that anywhere  is better then were he is now. so he makes a few weak attempt at making it up the side before descending down the crevasse.  he soon finds a floor of snow below he then sees rays of light and then the text states ” a pillar of gold light beamed diagonally from a small hole in the roof spraying bright refractions of the far wall of the crevasse. ‘    he then goes on to say ” i was going to reach that sun beam. i knew with absolute certainty. how i would do it, and when i would reach it knew not considered. i just knew’  these quotes show that for joe light represents hope for joe which drives him to concentrate solely on survival which is in contrast to the night when he was hardly thinking of any constructive thoughts .” a pillar of gold light beamed beamed diagonally from a small hole” is metaphor  because there was not literally a gold pillar in the crevasse but it was used because a gold pillar is considered valuable and strong . which is the source of the strength that joe has to get out which compares to a strong pillar.  the small hole were the light comes from describes it to be a small thing that that is hard to get to but something that joe desires to get to. this relates to the gold rush were men rushed to find small but desirable gold no matter the difficulty  just like joes desire to get to the small hole.

i was mesmerized by the beam of sunlight burning

chapter 8 – silent witness

mood and tone is used in chapter 8 to give the reader a better understanding of what is going on.  simon retreats from the mountain the mood and tone changes to reflect what simon is thinking about on his way down words like. words like stupid , silly, terrifying and cruel describe the negative atmosphere that simon is experiencing after supposedly losing his climbing partner. the tone was created through the word choice of joe to give the reader lonely and used to show how simon didn’t quite understand what to think about what happened. from these word choices we judge what what simon is doing and how is acting with a better understanding of where he is coming from and why he chose to make those choices because we understand the circumstances that drives him to make those choices.

shadows in the ice

contrast is used in chapter 7 to show the reader what joe is feeling and what he is experiencing. after joe falls in the crevasse he accepts he is going to die  but then wildly shouts out that he is alive showing the large amounts of confusion joe is dealing with in this life threatening scenario because he is accepting that he mostly likely going to die. so he begins to act irrationally.  this is  shown in the text when joe says “i accepted that i was going to die. there was no alternative.”  but then goes on to say wildly ” alive!…  I laughed through the burning, and kept laughing hard, feeling tears rolling down my face” these two examples contrast because one comes from a negative angle while the other is more positive and focuses on that he is alive as well as being negative and positive they are also joe thinking very logically and looking at just the facts in the first quote were is on the other quote he is thinking irrationally and not focussing on the important details. these show the immense confusion that joe would be experiencing. the reader can tell from the contrasting used above that joe is struggling to control his thoughts and mostly given up   on survival and is just waiting to leave. this behavior is something that he probably would not have exhibited at the start of the book and probably was caused by the tough nature of the mountains. which makes us question weather we as readers would have been strong and willing enough in that environment to be able to constantly think logically and positively when joe couldn’t ?


what is included

this piece of text has many references to other things that help display the narrator’s  thoughts and emotions to the area around him.  one of the images used to display the narrator’s fear of going down to lima is “the icy white sweep of Sarapo”  the words icy white sweep makes the sarapo sound  sound difficult and scary reflecting the characters fear of going down the slope.  “the chaotic bustle of lema” is used to show the contrast from lima and were the narrator is on the mountain both physically by the different locations  and also mentally with the constant silence and self reflection the narrator is getting on the mountain and the constant distractions of being in a city.

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