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.

This is your online portfolio

Hello and welcome to your personal online journal.

This platform has been created to enhance and enrich your learning at Mount Aspiring College. Its purpose is to provide you with an audience for your work (or work-in-progress) and you have the choice (by altering the ‘visibility’ of your posts) of whether your work on here is visible to the world, or only to your teacher.

Anything you post here in the public domain represents you and thus it’s important that you take care with that decision, but don’t be afraid to publish your work – as the feedback you may get from people at home, your peers and people from around the internet is only likely to enhance it.

Remember you can always access your class blog and all manner of resources through the Department of English main website – and by all means check out the sites of your peers to see what they’re getting up to as well.

If you have any questions for me, an excellent way to get an answer is to create a new private post on this journal. I am notified of any new posts and will reply swiftly to any queries.

Make the most of, and enjoy this new freedom in your English learning.



Chris Waugh