Touching the Void Essay: Language Techniques

Essay by onlinezeroHigh School, 11th grade January 2009

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In this essay I will discuss how the writer of Touching the Void has made use of language techniques to enable readers to fully empathize with Joe’s experience.

When Joe talks about his accident, he makes it sound quite dramatic. “...if there’s just two of you and a broken ankle could turn into a death sentence...” This quote shows that he took the accident very seriously and he illustrates this by making the story look like he would eventually die.

Throughout the story, the writer makes constant use of modal verbs. “Simon would be ripped.”, “He would leave me.”, “I could see down a slope.” These quotes are all examples of the use of modal verbs throughout the passage to show his desperateness. The modal verbs show us what he would be able to do or what he didn’t do and could have done.

In the passage, personification is being used constantly.

In this context, personification is mainly used to show the physical results of the fall. Examples of personification used to show this are: “...Pain flooded down...” and “My knee exploded.” Is a clear example of how personification is being used to illustrate the damage that has been done to his knee. The personification in the passage is used to give the reader an idea of how it must have felt.

In touching the Void, exclamation marks are used to show extreme emotions. A good example of when this is being used is when Joe says in his account: “My leg! My Leg!” as this clearly shows the extreme emotion of that his leg is hurting more then what is normal. The exclamation marks also tell the people of when these extreme emotions are being used.

Probably one of the main techniques used to enable readers to fully empathise...