3rd September 2018

significant connections

  1. touching the void
  2. into thin air
  3. into the wild
  4. alive

what extremes do people go to to survive when they are in life or death situations. in these four texts “Touching The Void”, “Into Thin Air”, “Into The Wild” and “Alive” I will show and explain the extremes the characters went through in their life or death situation where it is so easy to give up but is so hard to carry on. throughout reading the texts the characters show real passion and pressure to carry on in their situation where they have little to nothing left to survive on suffering from the pain do they survive or not. 

  1. in “touching the void” by Joe Simpson,  Simon Yates shows the extremes he goes to in order to save his climbing partner after Joe shatters his knee and is hanging in air over a crevasse. during this part of the text Joe is a burden and can not help Simon as he has shattered his knee. Joe is on the verge of death hanging over a crevasse and Simon must react quickly as he is in a life or death position. Simon believes he can not hold the weight of Joe and realises he has a knife. “I couldn’t hold the weight much longer”. “The taut rope exploded at the touch of the blade” and “his weight had gone from me” these are two quotes from simon as he before and during cutting the rope. in this moment Simon chooses his life over Joe’s as he cuts the rope connecting the two men together and Joe’s goes flying down into the crevasse somehow managing to survive. this shows how Simon puts his life ahead of Joe’s in order for him to survive rather than both of them possibly dying he would rather save is own life over risking his life to save another’s. Simon’s instincts were to save himself before his friend who is in a more dangerous situation showing the extremes Simon went to in order to save himself at all costs before anyone else. Even though Joe survived the fall and made it out alive this created conflict on Simon’s actions about what he did in this situation as he chose to save his own life over Joe the cutting of the rope was like breaking their friendship the rope was connecting them together the whole time and Simon broke it to save himself without hesitating to help joe. this shows how human instincts relates to our actions as our first priority is to save ourselves before saving others. the extremes simon went to in order to survive were huge as he saved himself in a life or death situation but with two people at risk he decided to save one whom was himself.
  2. In “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer the climbers show the desire and push to achieve a goal that is a life or death situation. this story line shows a important moment where a climbing group are close to the top of the summit and one of the groups are told to turn around and go back because of a jam at the step and miss communication creates a problem for the climbers. rob hall and one of the climbers get into an argument because the climbers wants to reach the summit as he has not done so before when they are told turn around and and descent the mountain. Hansen finally persuades hall to keep climbing even though hall has told him its a risk and he should turn around after reaching the top hall knows what they have done is the wrong thing. thy should have turned back but the passion of the climbers pushed them to put their life on the line to achieve greatness. the storm is already over them and the conditions get bad resulting in this, on the descent all members are to weak to carry on with empty oxygen tanks the climbers slowly feel the pain of what they have achieved to only then die for . “Unfortunately, the sort of individual who is programmed to ignore personal distress and keep pushing for the top is frequently programmed to disregard signs of grave and imminent danger as well. This forms the nub of a dilemma that every Everest climber eventually comes up against: in order to succeed you must be exceedingly driven, but if you’re too driven you’re likely to die”. this is a quote from jon krakauer about the climber who had the urge to make it to the summit when he was certainly going to suffer and die as they had no time and the storm clouds were closing in. This quote explains how an objective is completely needed to experience the immense pain of reaching the summit of Mt Everest but too much desire takes you down the path of overconfidence and a dangerous risk. The problem seen through characters like Hansen and Fischer, as they continued to push themselves even though they were warned to turn around that they should give up as they were going to suffer the consequences. this contrasts Touching The Void because in this text the climbers Hansen and Fischer pushed themselves to reach the summit and took the risk of life or death as they were so determined and hungry to reach the top. On the other hand it was the opposite, in touching the void Simon didn’t risk his life, he chose to take the safe option to save himself rather than saving his friend. in into thin air the climbers who carried on to reach the summit lost their lives fighting for their objective when they had the easy option to turn around but taking the risk was their decision and it costs them their lives.
  3. into the wild by Jon Krakauer, is about a man on foot with nothing travels across borders on his journey to alaska in the wild. Christopher McCandless sets out to live life in the wild and does not tell his parents or his sister where he is going. setting off with his car soon to be on foot, McCandless travels across America coming across many obstacles throughout his journey. during this quest for a new life, a long the way McCandless meets other people as they exchange stories as they are all looking to move on and leave the past behind and start a new life from nothing.”Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don’t want one”. this is a quote from McCandless when he is talking to Franz who he come across in the wild. this shows how he does not want a job, he does not want to be like others living civilized. McCandless wants to be free and od what he wants creating his own adventure as he travels in the wild. Being out in the wild you are always in life or death situations as one wrong step could determine your life forever. at one point in the text McCandless stumbles across an abandoned bus where he makes his home. months later his supplies are beginning to run out and he starts to make bad decisions which makes life much harder for McCandless. he tries to then make it back across the stream he had crossed earlier in the journey but it had gotten deeper and wider in the winter making it unable to cross. during survival in the wild the struggle for him is really kicking in as me must collect roots and plants to stay alive. now trapped with the bus McCandless collects plants and gets confused with plants that look similar and accidentally eats the poisness ones. with no help or medication he is forced to slowly die as he is sick and realises he is going to die. after all what he has done after surviving for this long in the wild to end up dying alone as he does not have medical help at all in the middle of nowhere. this text relates to into thin air because they both explain how one wrong decision can determine life or death and in both instances the characters both end up loosing their lives while living on the edge taking the risk in the extreme situation.In the book into the wild where McCandless eats the plant that he mistook for another plant which slowely killed him over time then trying to go back home but it trapped by the river overflow he has no choice but to die and in the book into thin air where the wrong decision of continuing on when they should have turned around put the climbers in a death situation they could not get themselves out of eventually dying from the storm. these two texts relate to each other showing that the characters put themselves in a extreme situation where there life is on the line at all times and they both make the wrong decisions which results to them dying helplessly without any chance of surviving.
  4.  in the film “Alive” Urugyuan rugby team plane was travelling to Chile while flying over the Andes mountains the plane undergoes turbulence and the aircraft crashes while the tail of the plane gets ripped of taking 6 passengers with it resulting in death. The remaining passengers must survive while stuck on a mountain stranded with nothing. the team captain Antonio and the rest of the survivors must do what they need to do to survive the conditions until they get help. during the 10 week long struggle they had to do the unthinkable in the worst conditions possible. In this life or death situation the survivors never gave up on making it out alive. lack of food, shelter and clothing affects them as they start to starve. the survivors huddle up in the remaining fuselage of the plane to keep warm and use seat covers as blankets. two passengers die overnight due to coldness. while stuck in barren wilderness with nothing to hunt the starving survivors come to a debate that in order to stay alive and gain more strength they must eat the flesh of the dead friends and family. later on after this unthinkable idea some of the men set off to search for the tail of the plane containing the radio and batteries. this search was unsuccessful and the men return to the fuselage. the numbers of survivors drop each day dying from injuries or conditions but not once do any of them give up. the extremes these people went to in order to survive in the life or death situation they were thrown into was unthinkable these survivors continued to search for help. shortly following the death of 8 people during a avalanche strike to the fuselage. “The warmth and the movement of breathing both were gone.” pg 68 was a quote about the people who were dying and the people who were carrying injuries from the crash they were all slowly dying. a group made up of Nando, Antonio and Canessa set off and eventually find the tail of the plane. unable to work the radio or transport the batteries Nando convinces Canessa that must find away out of the mountains of foot as it is the only way to get help.”Were gonna die, you know”. “Maybe but if we die, were gonna die walking”. these quotes were from Canessa and Nando show how Nando does not and is not going to give up, he is going to do everything to get help he will not stop walking in search for help. Antonio goes with them also but into the second day of the 12 day journey Antonio goes back to the fuselage so the two can carry on their own. with little rations for the 12 day trek the two make it out of the mountains to alert people about their companions location and the remaining survivors get saved. this film shows the extremes these people went to to survive in this situation. it is so easy to give up but so hard to carry on. these survivors showed how in the life or death situation death was not an option to choose. they continued on when all was almost lost. the two who made the 12 day trek to make it out of the mountains. all the lives of the others was in their hands to make it out to get help. they did not stop moving until they made it out. the pain and the struggle while eating your dead friends in order to stay alive. this text contrasts the text “Into The Wild” because in the text “Alive” the men who survive the crash do not choose to survive in the mountains, they are forced to survive in the wild whereas christopher McCandless chooses to live in the wild on his own. These two books show contrast to each other when the characters are in extreme life or death situations, McCandless chooses to try and survive in the wild and he has a slight understanding of where is and was he is planning to do whereas the characters in the film alive must find a way to get help as they are stranded and starving on the mountain. In the text into the wild McCandless is still around civilized areas which means at most points of his adventure he can get help and collect things he needs to survive and set back off into the wild. But in the other text “Alive” all they can do is survive off what they have with them there is nowhere to go but except set of on a journey to leave the mountains in search for help.


         in conclusion these texts show contrast and relation to each other                   through key moments in the text. the texts show and create and image          of the extremes the characters went through in order of their life or                death situation and showing how one wrong decision determined life            or death in each text. in relation to the text the characters are pushed out of their comfort zone in order to survive in their life or death situation. in these texts many characters did the unthinkable even when even the world thought they were dead they did not give up and eventually conquered the extreme situation to live another day.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Weston, your chosen theme is strong and each of your texts clearly relate to this theme. I do think that you are describing too much plot in places and that you need to specifically explain how events connect to your theme. Be careful of this in your description of “Alive”.
    * Please speak with me in class about some of these plot details.
    Also, make sure that you do complete your connections across texts in this assessment.


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