Symbolism in literature is where an object, person or situation has an additional meaning to its literal meaning. The symbolism of light and “the voice” in Chapter 9 is used to show Joe’s changing circumstances and his reaction to them.

  1. Use pages 132-133, 135 and 139-40 to explain what light symbolises in Joe’s situation. How does it change his perspective or affect his actions?
  2. Use pages 141-142 to explain the significance of “the voice” and how it reflects Joe’s mental and emotional state in this section of his journey.


The light in this text represents

“For a short while it held my attention, but as the light around me grew fainter the dread spilled over and I could contain myself no longer” I interpret this part of the text to be



“The Voice” reflects Joe’s mental and emotional state and is also an example of symbolism. Symbolism is shown in this chapter to add another meaning and suggest the mood and emotion of the text. When “the voice” was first introduced in the text Joe described it in a negative way as if it was controlling him “A voice in my head told me that this was true, cutting through the jumble in my mind with its coldly rational sound” “It was as if there were two minds within me arguing the toss” When Joe refers to “The Voice” he refers to it as “someone else” and not him self, this could be because he didn’t want to feel so alone. He refers to the voice as being superior and that he must do as it says. “the voice was clean and sharp and commanding” “It was always right, and I listened to it when it spoke and acted on its decisions” Joe also talks about “the other mind” in this text which I interpret it to be his thoughts and memories about the last seven days on the mountain and all that he has been through. “The other mind rambled out a disconnected series of images, and memories and hopes, which I attended to in a day dream state as I set out obeying the orders of the voice” This passage as the reader makes me think that the voice was Joe’s way of survival and that he cannot let his memories (The other mind) get in the way. “The voice told me exactly how to go about it, and I obeyed while my other mind jumped abstractedly from one idea to another” The Voice is very significant to the text because It is the reason Joe didn’t stop and the reason he wasn’t in complete despair. Because of all Joe had been through he was in a state of disbelief in a way about how wrong everything went and only that it had only been seven days since they set out on their journey to climb Silua Grande.

Simon is replaced by the voice


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  1. Keep going, Hayley. Great work thus far!


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