Between a Rock and Hard Place



'I come' - Written in present tense. Creates a sense of immediacy, helps reader to imagine experience.

'you can imagine using it to climb up the inside of a chimney'  - direct address is used to help reader to imagine situation more vividly by comparing with a chimeny - something that is familiar to the reader.

'scraping quake' - Descriptive- imagery used. 'scraping' evokes the sound made by rock as it shifts. 'quake' describes vibration it produces.

'round rocks below' - Alliteration of 'r' sound to emphasise speed and smoothness of movement.

'Fear shoots my hands over my head.' short sentence, direct- and personification of fear used to emphasise how Ralston is no longer in control of his own actions. His hands work independently of him and are driven by fear and not rational decisions.

'Then silence' - Minor sentence suggesting how the incident stops as quickly and abruptly as it happened.

1 of 5


'rock smashes' - violent verb used. Also - onomatapoeic. 

'Good God, my hand.' - Emotive language used. Religious language infers extreme emotion and extreme desperation.

'But I'm stuck.' - Simple, short , direct sentence to convey starkness and reality of situation. 

'Flaring agony' and 'searing hot pain' - Graphic. Metaphorical description of fire to describe pain Ralston feels.

'My desperate brain conjures up...' - Metaphorical. Magical. Desperation.

'Nothing' - single word 'nothing' used to end text is stark and hopeless. Leaves reader uncertain of what will happen next.

2 of 5


'I come to another' - shows Ralston has done this before, suggesting he is experienced.

'different geometry' - technical and mathematical language used to convey his experience and competence.

'the shoulder-width crevice...friction contact stays solid between the walls and my hands, feet and back.' - Very detailed description of the technique he is about to use. Gives impression of skill and experience.- shows he is confident in his competence.

'Instinctivley' - Previously, Ralston's actions were calculated and planned.- now he is acting by instinct.

3 of 5


'As I dangle' - Turning point of text. These words sgugest being suspended precariously- reader gets a sense that danger or disaster is ahead.

-As the accident is described, the tone changes completely as Ralston starts to panic.

- Final word 'nothing' suggests bleak prospect for escape.

-First few paragraphs show his experience and confidence. Then last few paragraphs show his hopelessness and fear.

4 of 5


- First Person

-Present tense for immediacy

- Careful, technical descriptions of movements and landscape.

-Graphical descriptions and a lot of detail.

-Emotive language 

-Metaphor (e.g. metaphor of fire to describe pain)

-Uncertain conclusion where Ralston appears isolated.

-Description of time distorted by experience of accident.

-Short sentences are sued to emphasise shock and lack of hope. Impact. Reality of situation.

5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Language resources:

See all English Language resources »See all Anthology A resources »