Remi, this essay contains excellent evidence of your increasing command of literary analysis. It demonstrates a subtle and mature appreciation of the characters. It is clearly structured – with some well-developed stylistic features that make it a pleasure to read. It contains a good level of detail in respect of historical context as well as a good level of understanding of the broader texts to which you refer.
To develop your work further:
1) Examine the language of the texts more (this advice also applies to your answers in the final Literature examinations). You will want to ensure you pull your quotes apart to expand on how the ideas you’re presenting are also present in the figurative language and even the sound of the texts you analyse – whether they be poetry or prose.
2) Keep every piece of your speculation about the authors and their intentions firmly embedded in the texts themselves. It’s valid and valuable for you to talk about their lives and histories, but there probably isn’t space in an essay of this length to go into speculating too much about their motives and intentions.
Fate is a very unanswerable concept in this book and is explored a lot by Joe.
Firstly from a Christian point of view, fate is seen as God’s will. It means that some bad things and some good things happen but in the end it all works out for good (for those who love him). Now Joe stated that he doesn’t believe in God and for an atheist, they believe that nothing in life is predetermined and that we pilot our own lives. However, as the book progresses Joe starts to talk as if he isn’t in control. He even says “in some strange way, the very nature of the game was controlling me, taking me towards a logical but frightening conclusion”. This quote was said when he reached the summit of the mountain. He was so overwhelmed with his achievement that he believed that he couldn’t do it in his own power.
Now this book really explores whether we have the control or whether something else, whether it nature or God has it. A lot of adversities happened during the climb, especially to Joe. Now they didn’t plan any of that. They didn’t want to run out of gas, food, and water and injure themselves. They wanted to complete the mountain challenge. Now if they had the control then none of that would have happened. At the moments when they should have died, they didn’t. If life is as logical as we make it then they shouldn’t be alive but it’s not the case. Our will isn’t God’s will. When we think it’s over, it hasn’t even started. Jeremiah 29:11-13 summarises what God has for us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God isn’t an evil God. People think that because He has a will for us that it’s a bad thing. No! It says plans to prosper us and give us a future so that everyone may see and believe that God has our best interest at heart. Not everyone will want to believe and that is why we have free will. We get to choose which side we are.
Away from this, I believe that Joe and Simon have something in them that wants them to believe that God is the way. That’s why when something traumatising happens unbelievers say “pray for them”, yet ‘to pray’ means to talk to God. Why is it that when we are completely vulnerable and powerless then we realize that there’s someone else bigger in control. This is what Joe experiences. He can’t control the mountains. He is crippled and slowly losing life the longer he is on the snow and ice. He can’t do it alone and he slowly starts to realize that. The amount of adversities he encountered yet he didn’t die just shows that it wasn’t his time to go. Logic says that breaking your leg on a mountain, falling into a crevasse with no food or water means that you will die yet he didn’t.
Joe even trying to find out what the void is just underlines my point of how there is a slight belief in everyone. For someone who says they don’t believe in God, why would they go to look for something which they said wasn’t there. If there’s no life after death then what were they trying to find. Again, it just shows the ignorance. I believe that everyone has that slight faith in them that they need to unlock.
Source 3 and source 2 both use different language techniques in order to make the article interesting. Source 3 is an extract from a book, Storm at sea, however, source 2 is a newspaper report. One thing that I’ve noticed in source 3 is that it’s very descriptive. Because she is the one giving the account of the adversity, she is adding in all her thoughts and feelings, and giving more of an explanation to make the account seem as alive as it was to her when she experienced it. For example “water was streaming over her decks and her motion was as wild as a washing machine’s”. This statement doesn’t just show her description of the sea but it also uses a simile to show how much she was being rocked by the boat (motion as wild as a washing machine) Another thing I noticed in source 3 was the repetition. “I discovered more and more dripping garments. My heart sank further and further”. Here she keeps repeating the words to add more emphasis on the situation. There was so many wet clothes and her hope was being lost the more she was out there. That is what I think she was trying to do. Source 2 is much different. It is informative. Because it is an article, the personal attachment isn’t there so it isn’t as descriptive as source 3. But, you can see the difference in language when Jonathan Trappe spoke. He said things like “iconic ribbon of water” and “exceptional, quiet, peaceful and beautiful experience”. The personal response was there so he was able to give the sea a different light and describe his experience and about his dream.
Touching the void is a very unique name for Joe to describe climbing the mountain. The word ‘void’ is used which has many different meanings. Firstly, the word void means nothing, emptiness. to me, this means that they were close to touching whatever they believed was out there. I think that they thought they could find something that can’t be found, up on the mountain. Another meaning for it could be from the spiritual aspect. In this case, void would mean hell. So the climbers are touching hell be because if they die and they didn’t love God and except Jesus as their Lord and saviour then they would be going to hell. This is something I believe crossed their minds because unreligious people probably have that slight uncertainty about what’s after life. Now the word touching is interesting because that suggests to me that they want to see whatever the void is by climbing the mountain. It’s almost like a big red button. You want to touch it to see what will happen. Joe and Simon want to see the void. They want to see how far the body will go before the void (or even the mysteries of life) are shown to them. As joe said in the book, “if u suceed with a dream, you find yourself conjuring up another slighty harder, a bit more dangerous”. They want to do something more dangerous and push the limits. This is why I think he keeps feeling “the usual anticlimax” when he climbs the mountains because he’s looking for a sense of joy and fulfilment but that isn’t enough. You can only get your joy from God so that’s why he’ll always continue searching. Also, I think he has this take on life to push boundaries for fun, just because he can and that addiction causes him to do these things, but does he really enjoy what he’s doing? Does he like that kind of life? I think he has that mentality because when he was younger someone told him that he couldn’t do something in life or he’s was kept in a box, in terms of life experiences so now he’s trying to do as much unique things as possible and proving that he can do anything he wants to.
Storm at Sea – Explain some of the thoughts and feelings Claire Francis has during the storm.
Firstly, Claire Francis is sailing ALONE in the second largest ocean in the world. It isn’t the place for any person to be by themselves. Already she must have been feeling very isolated and lonely which turned into anxiety. In the article it says that she was cold and soaking wet and sailing through violent waves. At any moment she could fall in or the apparatus could break. That sort of risk probably worried her, especially through the storm. She must have been wondering why she even went on the expedition in the first place. In the second paragraph, it states that the movements of the boat were severe. This must have made her feel even more uncomfortable and unsteady. Also, the fact that she had to keep moving into different positions in the boat just to stay afloat must have been tiring for her. She even says “I allowed myself to become excited at the sight of a clear sky”. This shows that she was so tired of the storm and just wanted a calm journey.
Up, Up and Away – Explain how the headline and the picture are effective and how they link to the text.
The headline and picture are very effective, firstly because it says, “Up, Up and away”. This is clearly related, not just to the text, but a famous pixar movie (Up). The article is about a man who uses helium balloons to fly himself over the English Channel in an armchair. The “Up, up and away” suggests that he is flying to another destination and not returning for a while (which actually happened as it says in the text). The part where it says “the day that armchair travel really took off” to me is very funny because when we fly in planes we are seated in armchairs but this time the armchair is on its’ own. No metal shell or pilot, just balloons. The picture is also very effective, and links to the text because it shows how the mechanism looked as he was flying over the White cliffs of Dover. Also, the balloons are very bright so it really stands out. In addition, the angle of the camera shot shows how high up he was and how dangerous and risky it was (as he stated in the text).
What do you learn from Ben Leach’s article about the issues and concerns regarging the building of wind farms?
Before reading this article I thought that wind farms were widely encouraged and very supported by the public because of its green, renewable process which helps the planet. However, from Ben Leach’s article, I’ve learnt about the many issues surrounding wind farms. Firstly, the turbines aren’t really pleasing to the eye. They would ruin the natural landscape of the coastal areas like Cornwall and Lake District. This would reduce the amount of tourists coming to the coast which would further dampen the name and legacy of ‘said’ coast. In addition, I’ve learnt that these wind turbines could be a huge hazard to the wildlife on the coast (especially birds). These birds could easily fly into the spinning turbines which, in effect, would make the coastline look like the inside of a slaughter house. Surprisingly, many environmentalists oppose it which is strange because you’d think that they would be in favour of renewable energy sources. However, from the article I can see that they are focussing on the local impacts instead of the global ones. Overall, I think that the issues and concerns on the coast are true and justified but it is a form of renewable energy. It might cause some protests but, in the long run it would indirectly aid those very objectors with energy.