As Joe and Simon descend the encounter problems such as Joe being in pain while Simon belays him due to Joe’s injured leg. “Howling and screaming for Simon to stop achieved nothing; the blame had to lie somewhere, so I swore Simon’s character to the devil”. This quote reveals the inner feelings of anger and frustration Joe felt towards Simon. For Simon lowering Joe down the mountain was all he could do. They face emotional problems such as the uncertainty about what will happen to them as well as the relationship they have with each other and to what point does it end. Joe creates tension when he’s lowered off the void by using simple sentences and using detailed words to describe the situation. For example, “The speed increased, and my heart jumped widely”. Joe wants the readers to picture what he went through, he makes this happen by having short simple sentences to describe what’s happening. Simon’s perspective on the situation is important because it’s all he could do in his position. To only have Joe’s perspective it would make Simon seem like the bad guy who cut the rope to save himself. Throughout Simon’s narration there are details which build up why Simon cut the rope. Quote,  “I had felt no trembling in the rope to tell me he was attempting something” To Simon, having felt no pressure on the rope or anything to indicate that Joe is alive would have given him the thought that Joe didn’t survive going down. “I couldn’t hold the weight much longer,” This quote from Simon’s narration indicates that something needs to change or happen because he can’t hold Joe’s weight. Simon already has the thought that Joe is dead adding to the fact that he can’t hold him much longer or he won’t survive. ” I felt the first shivers of fear” This quote from Simon’s narration is a suggestion that his emotions are coming back and taking over his thoughts. For Simon he is sitting on the side of the mountain, holding Joe which is paining him as it was mentioned that his harness was digging into his thighs. Simon is expecting to be ripped off the mountain any second, but after Joe is unresponsive, Simon makes a choice to the cut the rope. From his perspective they will both die if Joe isn’t already gone. But if he cuts the rope, he will survive for longer and possibly so will Joe. Cutting the rope in Simon’s perspective is his only choice at surviving which is why he chooses to do so

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  1. Greysea, I particularly appreciate the depth of your discussion about the purpose of Simon’s narration here. You have given multiple examples about how tension is created to justify Simon’s position (and decision-making).
    * Great personal reflections about the author’s purpose here.

    In your first answer, watch any generalised statements: “to describe what’s happening.” Be specific to the effect created, as you have been in the second response 🙂


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