Connections Across Texts

Topics: Touching the Void, Cost underestimation, Dariush Mehrjui Pages: 12 (5557 words) Published: April 2, 2013
I have studied 4 texts from a survival genre. I have looked at connections within the overall topic of ‘how people act in a survival situation. I found a connection between two of these texts and another connection between the other two texts. The first connection was ‘the will to survive and determination to stay alive can overcome the power of nature and negative thoughts when in a life or death situation’, this connection was shown by the characters in the film ‘Touching the void’ directed by Kevin MacDonald and the film ‘127 hours’ directed by Danny Boyle. The second connection was ‘how mistakes and underestimating nature can become deadly in a survival situation’, this connection was shown by the characters in the book ‘To build a fire’ written by Jack London and in the film ‘Into the wild’ directed by Sean Penn.

‘Touching the void’ directed by Kevin MacDonald is a survival genre film that contains examples that relate to the connection that is ‘the will to survive and determination to stay alive can overcome the power of nature and negative thoughts when in a life or death situation, and thoughts of just giving up’. In this film which is based on a true story, mountain climbers Simon Yates and Joe Simpson travel to Peru in 1985 to attempt to climb the west face of Siula Grande which has a summit height of 21000 ft. They team up Richard Hawking an inexperienced outdoors man who was travelling in Peru. They set up base camp at the bottom of the mountain after a 2 hour walk from a road. The mountain had previously hosted a number of failed expeditions. They were climbing alpine style which means they carried minimum gear, and would also try to reach the summit in one go. They reached the top and the weather had unnoticeably turned bad. It was whiteout which meant that visibility was poor. They couldn’t see very far in front of them. After reaching the summit they began to descend down the ridge until Joe unknowingly walked out onto an overhanging snow cornice. He heard a strange cracking sound and the ice and snow beneath him broke away. He was saved from getting injured by Simon who dug in his ice axe. They had a rope tied to each other which came tight when Simon did this leaving Joe hanging. Once Joe got back up they proceeded down the ridge. Joe was walking ahead of Simon and came to another overhanging merengue of snow. He then attempted to climb down the overhang of snow. He dug his ice axe in and the hard snow broke away causing him to fall. He landed on his right leg and the impact drove his tibia bone through his knee joint. They had run out of gas so they couldn’t melt any snow to drink, the weather was getting worse and daylight was fading. Their situation wasn’t very good, and as Joe said in the interviews “I thought that I was stuffed”. They devised a plan to tie a rope to Joe, and Simon would lower him down the slope using two 150ft ropes tied together to make one 300ft rope. Simon would lower Joe until he got to the knot halfway through, Joe would then have to stand on his good leg and take his weight off the rope so Simon could unclip the rope and put the knot past they belay device and proceed to lower him. Simon would then descend down to Joe when they got to the end of the rope and lower him again. This showed that they would not give up and that they could battle against nature to get out alive. It would take real determination to do this. They overcame the thoughts if helplessness and also negative thoughts like thinking that they were going to die. Nature was fully against them and it didn’t seem like Joe had a chance of surviving at all. But they did what they could to help each other and get out alive. It showed that their will to survive was greater than the power of nature and their own negative thoughts. Simon continued to lower Joe until he unknowingly lowered Joe over a huge cliff. He hadn’t heard Joe’s cries to stop because of the howling wind and snow. Joe is left hanging 150ft over a...
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