Touching The Void

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Touching the Void

  • Void - An empty space, a vacuum; or a feeling of emptiness, loneliness or loss. 

Joe and his climbing parter, Simon, who were nearing the end of a climb when this terrible accident ocurred. The passage provides focus on an extreme sport at a life or death moment. 

Structure and form

  • This extract consists of two pieces of autobiographical prose narrative, giving different perspectives on the sam event
  • Relatively short paragraphs follo a sequence of time, but the real demarcations are provided by crucial developents in thought


  • Though both accounts are very similar in style, there are significant differences
  • Both accounts have:
  • - use of first person narrative
  • - narrative structure, but evaluation and analysis of the significance of what is happenin is integrated into the story telling
  • -use of direct speech to convey the immediacy of thougght - 'You've had it, matey.' 'You're dead'-
  • - and to bring in other perspectives - 'I'm dead. Everyone said it...if there's just two of you a broken ankle could turn into a death sentence.'

Language: Joe's Account

  • Conveys pain by powerful metaphors - pain flooded (8); a fierce burning fire (9), my knee exploded (25) these metaphors are linked with his feelings
  • Varied sentence structure, varying the pace and reflecting the impact of the moment (paragraph 2)
  • Minor sentences used at particularly dramatic moments  - My leg! My leg!


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