‘On the edge’ is used as a pun in Chapter 4 because the decent down the mountain they do, they are on the edge of physical danger the whole way. They fall, get cold and weather turns on them making them overly cautious about what they’re doing. Being cautious for them is necessary but if they take it too far generally it triggers overthinking which increases the chance of messing up. Another meaning for ‘On the edge’ is Joe being ‘On edge’. He’s anxious, he’s scared, he’s worried. These feelings are getting stronger for him, plaguing his thoughts with the possible bad things that could happen.
Foreshadowing is in the book in many places. In Chapter 4 Joe says, “As I climbed up to rejoin his tracks it occurred to me that I had felt a moment of anxiety only minutes before Simon had fallen. I had noticed this in the past and always wondered about it”. This quote is an example of Joe foreshadowing danger. It hints that before something bad happens he feels anxious, and its happened before. “It seemed to me that the most likely accident would involve the whole ridge collapsing, taking us both down in one very long breakaway of snow,” Joe says, giving another example of foreshadowing again. This quote is an idea that Joe has about how they might have an accident. He’s getting anxious and is clearly thinking that something will happen. The thought that something bad is gonna happen is making him more worried and ‘On the edge’ emotionally. Creating tension on them to be more cautious and aware. Which doing so will only cause them to be more fearful and worried, slowly tearing down their optimism. The technique shows they are facing emotional problems due to the possible future physical problems. They are troubled by the route they are taking down because its not a planned course unlike the way they took up. This creates an emotional strain of both men as the hint that something bad will happen is increasing in the book.