1.8 Significant Connections

Overcoming hardships or challenges can change a person in many ways

Overcoming challenges and hardships are part of everyday life, but it is how we overcome them that defines who we are. Most people in life let those challenges affect them in a negative way, but people that don’t let their hardships get to them and come out stringer are the people that can make a difference. This is shown in the books Eragon, by Christopher Paolini and Lord of The Rings : Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit, both by J.R.R Tolkien and Touching the Void by Joe Simpson, The main characters of these books all have to overcome challenges on their journeys, they all react differently but all of them come out positively.

In “Eragon” a book by Christopher Paolini, the main character  Eragon begins the story as a humble farmer and ends it as a Dragon Rider, one of the most powerful beings in Alagaësia, where the book is set. At the beginning of the text, Eragon is living with his uncle and cousin but still stands out amongst his peers. He is the only one will to brave the mountains that have claimed so many lives referred to as “The Spine” It is in The Spine where he finds the dragon egg that turned his world upside down. Before he leaves to help join the fight he is only a hunter, wasting his true potential because he knows nothing else, his only worry is trying to feed his family. He has no knowledge of magic, of dragons, or of his destiny, only caring about simple things in his life “Eragon slowly crept closer, keeping the bow ready. All his work of the past three days had led to this moment.” This quote teaches the reader many things about Eragon, it teaches us that he was willing to give up a lot of time to achieve his goals, even if they are very difficult. We also learn of his ability as a hunter, and with a bow. Both of these traits are very useful to Eragon later in the book as the reader soon finds out. Eragon soon learns that the rock he finds only moments after the first quote is actually a dragon egg, and once that egg hatches he and the dragon inside are bound for life, meaning he cannot continue his normal life and has a very difficult decision to make. Although, the decision is made for him when his home is attacked and his uncle brutally murdered. This is the first of many hardships he is forced to endure because of his dragon and it will not be the last. This first challenge changes Eragon the most dramatically, it changes his personality, who he is. Before the incident Eragon is a kind soul, only harming others in order to save himself, but after there is a new part of him, a cold, dark part that seeks for vengeance and revenge. “I want my vengeance, but for the rest … I have no ambition. “The rest that is referred to is becoming a hero, an idol for many and someone that could overthrow the evil empire. Eragon’s mind becomes overtaken by his lust for revenge and the reader knows he will not stop until he has avenged his uncle. this might be because he never had a father so when the closest thing to one has been killed takes a bit of Eragon with it. This again tells the reader that Eragon is a determined person that will let nothing stand between him and his goal. Tragedy again strikes Eragon when his mentor is slain by the very people he is trying to track. This completes Eragon’s transformation, from a simple farm boy to a mighty warrior, capable of taking on the world. “From this moment on, I’ll live by the sword. Let the whole world see what I am. I have no fear. I am a Rider now, fully and completely.”  This final challenge teaches Eragon the most important lesson, he needs to learn to let go. And that is exactly what he does. He foregoes his quest to avenge his uncle and mentor and changes his path to find the Varden, the opposing force against the Empire. “My heart died a while back, said Eragon with a hint of black humour”  This quote shows us many things about the changes that have happened to Eragon, he is a bit more darker, more ruthless, but he also has retained his humanity. It also shows us that Eragon has resigned himself to the fact that his journey would suffer more heartbreak and death, but he has accepted it with an open eye and is still trying to make the best of it. Eragon changes a lot throughout the text, for the better for himself and for the good of everyone he has the potential to save.

In “The Hobbit” by J.R.R Tolkien, the character that the book revolves around a hobbit, called Bilbo Baggins, Bilbo is a very withdrawn person, that is of a prestigious hobbit family. None of his peers, or even himself,  expected him to do anything out of the ordinary. When a company of 12 dwarves and 1 wizard appear at his doorstep without warning he still has no doubt about the simple life. Although Bilbo does take up the challenge, he is still very unprepared, not really ready for his new lifestyle. When Bilbo joins the company he realises something, “I’m awfully sorry” said Bilbo “But I have come without my hat, and I have left my pocket-handkerchief behind, and I haven’t got any money” This quote shows us a lot about Bilbo’s personality, he is a very polite person, as most hobbits are, and this is something that always stays with him. It also tells us about how he was not very prepared, nor was he really sure about what he was about to do, this is something that changes the most about him, and this is beneficial to not only himself but to the people around him for his awareness saves them on many occasions. This new awareness and understanding shown and explored later on is the text when the company Bilbo is travelling with is captured by elves, and Bilbo is the only one to avoid capture due to the magic ring that he found that can make him invisible when he wears it. The Bilbo that started off the journey would have thought only for himself and would have tried to escape on his own, but would have failed due to his lack of skills. But Bilbo has gathered skills on his journey, an even still he decides to help rescue his friends  “No time now!” said the hobbit. “You just follow me! We must all keep together and not risk getting separated. All of us must escape or none, and this is our last chance.” Bilbo is much more aware of himself now, and he knows what he (And his ring) are capable of. The old Bilbo would never even dream of hatching up a plan to save his friends and such an outrageous one at that. But this is a changed Bilbo, one that actually has some idea of what he is doing. Although Bilbo has done some good things up until now he still has some room to grow, and he shows his worth at the end of the text. The company has arrived at their destination, and their leader Thorin has been driven mad by his desire and longing for the Arkenstone, The King’s Jewel, that Thorin believes to be his birthright. But Bilbo has already found it, and to prevent war he makes a decision that saves tens of thousands of lives. He gives the Arkenstone to the men so that they can trade it for what treasure they were promised. “This is the Arkenstone of Thrain,” said Bilbo, “the Heart of the Mountain; and it is also the heart of Thorin. He values it above a river of gold. I give it to you. It will aid you in your bargaining.” Then Bilbo, not without a shudder, not without a glance of longing, handed the marvellous stone to Bard. This decision shows Bilbo’s true worth, he is willing to give up his 1/14 share of the gold in order to stop a war. These decisions that he makes are very important and show he has changed, The Bilbo that started the journey would not have lasted a week, so Bilbo is forced to change, to adapt. And the Bilbo that returned is out of place amongst his peers, and he has experienced things they can only dream of. Bilbo’s change is very similar to that of Eragon’s, although Eragon starts off with much more skills and abilities than Bilbo they both develop into far more greater people than they could ever imagine. Bilbo’s choices affect more people directly, such as his company,  whereas Eragon’s choices are more beneficial to him, but still affect the lives of others later down the line.

In another book by J.R.R Tolkien, Lord of The Rings – The Fellowship of The Ring, the book focuses on Bilbos nephew, Frodo Baggins. Frodo is quite different to Bilbo, he is more curious, more open to exploring and adventuring. When Bilbo leaves, he leaves his magical ring to Frodo, unknowingly putting him in danger. This leaves Frodo with a choice, stay and watch his people be destroyed or travel to take the ring t the safety of the Rivendell elves. Frodo sets off with his friend Samwise Gamgee.But in the meanwhile, it seems that I am a danger, a danger to all that live near me. I cannot keep the Ring and stay here. I ought to leave Bag End, leave the Shire, leave everything and go away.” This decision shows that Frodo is very wise, wiser than most with much more experience than him. And it also tells us that he loves his people, and would do anything to see them survive. Frodo finds Aragorn, a person with the ability to get him to the elves and even further safely, Frodo is suspicious but accepts help. “Even if I wanted another companion, I should not agree to any such thing, until I knew a good deal more about you and your business.” This helps show us that Frodo has already changed a great deal, he has learnt to be wary, to question everything and everyone, even people that he would have trusted not too long ago. Frodo’s only goal was to get the elves at Rivendell, and he and his new friends succeed, But then a new challenge presents itself. Someone has to continue the journey, to take the ring to Mordor and destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom. There is a meeting, on who will take the ring. The Men, Dwarves and Elves will not let one of the others take it, so for the quest to take place, it has to be someone else. The Frodo that left the shire would have stepped aside and left them to come to an agreement. But Frodo has learnt, and has taken on a newfound confidence and leadership, and volunteers himself. “I will take the Ring,’ he said, ‘though I do not know the way.” This shows us how much Frodo has changed. It has completed him, he knows now that he is the only one that can do it. But it also tells us something else. It tells us that Frodo is willing to ask for help, to admit when he is wrong and then try to find a solution. This aspect that appears in Frodo is very similar to that that is shown in Eragon, both of them are willing to learn and this desire to learn is not only beneficial to them but also for the greater good. Bilbo and Frodo also have a very similar, they begin their respective books as people that are the exact opposite people that you would imagine to start of an adventure, and certain events that happen change them and they are slowly manipulated into being the perfect pawns of the adventure, being carried around but having the strength to do what the need to do.

In Joe Simpsons Touching the Void, Joe and his friend Simon are attempting to scale Suila Grande, when Joe slips and breaks his leg, leaving them stranded on the mountain, desperate for survival. Joes change is something slightly different from the rest, his survival instinct kicks in where most people would just give up. When he falls and breaks his leg he stays rational, thinking logically. “I fell, the ledge gave way” “I’ve broken my leg” This shows us Joes experiences showing through. He knows about mountaineering and he knows the best way to react, and the way that most likely will help him to survive. Joe does not change in the way that is developing into the life of an adventure, because the challenges that he is forced to overcome are different. If anything Joe is forced to become less logical and has learnt to listen to his heart rather than his head and this is the only reason he survives. “The voice told me exactly how to go about it” The voice being the part of him that still has a desire to live, and to keep on going. This shows us that even when he has all but given up he will still stay strong and keep on going, and even when he wants to stop and give up he cannot because of the voice inside his head guides him. But it also tells us that Joe is desperate enough to have discovered a new part of himself that until now was not necessary, even if it leads him down the wrong path he will follow it because it is his last hope of survival. “The voice told me that I was too late, that time had run out.” This again shows us how easily Joe is being controlled by the voice, and that he is blindly following it. This is a significant change for him, at the beginning of the story, before him and Simon set off on the climb and he breaks his leg. He would not have followed anyone the, with the exception of his closest friends. And now he is blindly following a voice inside his head that is only now showing itself. I could be trying to manipulate him, he has learnt that he can’t question things even if there is a slight chance of survival he must follow it. As I already mentioned Joe changes is almost the opposite of the others, while they all end up as adventuring people he is already like this during his life. But he is forced to lose the logical thinking that Eragon, Bilbo and Frodo of them learn in order to survive.

All the people that I mention in this essay change in many ways, different people react to challenges and obstacles that are put in front of them in order to survive. From Bilbo, who learnt how to stand up for what is right even if it puts him at risk to Joe, who is forced to discover a part of himself that he never knew existed. Everybody has to overcome challenges but it is those that learn to adapt to overcome them that can make a difference in life.

1.1 Written Text Essay – Touching The Void

Techniques

    1. Symbolism, Mountain, Rope, Voice.
    2. Narrative Voice / Narrative Perspective / Point of Narration: Joe Simpson and Simon Yates
    3. Figurative Language, Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Hyperbole
    4. Imagery: The Combination of Descriptive Language and Techniques for Certain Effects
    5. Conflict ( Tension Filled Moments ) – Created Through Word Choice and Syntax
    6. Syntax ( Sentence Structures ) – Different Types Have Different Effects

 

1.6 Speech – Brendon McCullum

“My dad talks about friendships and experiences rather than records” This is something Brendon McCullum’s father told him when he was just starting out cricket. And I think that this is something that Brendon McCullum not only bases his cricket off but also his life. Brendon does not play cricket to make money, or to win records, he plays to enjoy the game and have new experiences. Not only does he hold many records in cricket that are unlikely to be beaten any time soon he is also one of New Zealand’s greatest cricket captains. Brendon McCullum pushed the boundaries in all aspects of his life, in his early years, as a cricketer, and as a cricket captain.

As a child, Brendon was very sporty and most of his time was spent in the outdoors playing sports, a great example of this is the fact that he was in the first 11 for football and cricket and the first 15 for rugby. He had offers to take both rugby and cricket seriously but he chose cricket, And if he didn’t he might have been an all black instead of a blackcap. He did not choose cricket because he was better at it but because when he played sports he played them for fun, and he enjoyed cricket more. He was probably better at rugby considering he was selected over Dan Carter in a secondary schools competition. But his childhood was not as easygoing as you think, His father played cricket for Otago and back then cricketers were not paid nearly enough. Although his family struggled financially cricket was somewhere he could forget about that and just play, like a safe haven from the real world. When Brendon first started he always wanted to be in on the action, when he couldn’t wicketkeep he would field in as close as possible and on more than one occasion he would be hit and get mild concussions, but this did not deter him and to this day he is always in the middle of the game whenever he can be, always making an impact

Although Brendon broke on to the scene as a wicketkeeper he left his mark on cricket as a batsman, although many people just remember him for his demolition of bowling attacks during the world cup, while this was astonishing and an incredible display of his power and abilities this was not his greatest batting performances for the blackcaps. The reason for this was in the world cup he had no risks, if he got out opening the batting he had 9 other players beneath him to come ut to bat after him. Admittedly he had some incredible batting displays in tests batting at 5 such as his 54 ball century against Australia, which to this day is a world record. But I think that the batting performances where he was batting a bit slower, trying to save a test match not win it, was when he was at his best for New Zealand. The best example of this was his 302, this was the first and only triple century by a kiwi, besting Martin Crowe’s innings of 299. when he batted for 647 minutes against India to save the test match and defeat India in a test series, not an easy feat. the reason this was his greatest innings and probably the greatest test innings by a New Zealander because he showed grit and determination, complimented by some classy shots along the way, and maybe a bit of luck as well.

The most successful and well-known part of his career was his captaincy, not only did Brendon lead New Zealand to some of their most successful results ever but he revolutionized the way cricket captains captain, and encouraged his team to use new strategies and tactics to win games. There was a lot of controversy around his captaincy, this was because he had once been vice-captain but he was relieved of this role to focus on his cricket. Ross Taylor was appointed captain not long beforehand, but poor results and a lack of communication between players and captain resulted in him being stood down as captain but continuing to play for New Zealand. The New Zealand public was not happy with this decision, because they thought that Taylor was treated unfairly and was not supported enough by his support team. Despite all this Brendon McCullum still took over the role and made it his own. A true example of this is the 2015 Cricket World Cup, where he led his team from the front by opening the batting, this was something he had not normally done but he stepped up to take on this new role and took NZ to the final with his new aggressive approach to batting and dedication to the team, Although they did not win, the tournament sent out a message to cricket, the nice guys don’t always finish last. During this tournament, Brendon’s commitment was at its most obvious in his fielding, he was always the first to chase after the ball and even if there was a 1% chance of him reaching the ball he would still throw himself over the boundary and this led his team to follow and now, Because of him NZ are usually considered the best fielding team in cricket. Brendon showed his class on and off the field. At the 2015 world cup, the Australians were sledging the Kiwis, later when asked for their motives they said it was because we were ” Too nice ” This is a true example of how Brendon acted.

As you will now know Brendon’s career had his ups and downs, but he pushed through the hard times to become a great cricket captain, and stayed a great person at the same time. He pushed the boundaries of cricket in many ways, with his captaincy and his batting, on and off the field.

 

In The Far Distance – Chapter 9

Joe uses symbolism in chapter 9 to show two main points, the first of these is “Light” and the second one is “The Voice” When Joe has fallen down the crevasse he has all but given up hope, and has accepted his death. Then he looks up and sees the light at the top of the crevasse, for Joe this light represents hope, and it gives him the motivation to try to escape. It also is a contrast to the darkness he is stuck in and the fact he wishes to be out of the crevasse he is stuck in and in that light he can see, almost giving him a goal that he is determined to reach.

The other symbolism Joe mentions is “The Voice” this is Joe’s mind that keeps him going when Joe wants to give up. When Joe is talking about “The Voice” he talks about something that is talking to him from the outside, and “The Voice” is also very firm because it is the part of Joe that not only wants to keep going, but it knows he has to keep going if he is to survive. “The Voice” shows that Joe’s mind is very fragile, and it has been split into two parts by the events that happened on Suila Grande. It also shows he was affected by the realization that Simon had cut the rope, which represents the bond between the two of them and Joe most likely did not want to feel completely alone on the mountain, hence the reason for “The Voice”

Chapter 8 – Mood And Tone

“I looked back up the face and marked the descent we had taken during the lowerings in a plumb straight line down to where I stood. I felt cheated. The very means by which we had managed to rescue ourselves had caused the accident. I remember the mounting excitement I had felt as we had progressed smoothly down the mountain. I had been proud of what we had managed. It had worked so well – and all Joe’s pain, all his digging, and fighting, had simply speeded the inevitable accident on the cliff.”  I think the mood that is shown in the passage is reflecting, Simon is thinking back and remembering all the things that he and Joe had been through on Suila Grande

Silent Witness – Chapter 8

Passage 1

“I stared at the mountain rising over me. Empty. It was a pointless thing to have done – climb up it, across it, and down it. Stupid! It looked perfect; so clean and untouched, and we had changed nothing, It was beautiful, immaculate, but it left me empty. I had been on it too long, and it had taken everything.”
I think the mood shown in this piece of the text shows Simons regret, he regrets him and Joe trying to scale Suila Grande because he thinks it has taken Joe’s life. Simon is reflecting in this passage, reflecting what has happened and how insignificant it seems to the mountain, and how even though he had been through so much the mountain looks so peaceful and untouched.

Passage 2

“If I hadn’t cut the rope I would have certainly died. Looking at the cliff, I knew there would be no surviving such a fall. Yet, having saved myself, I was now going to return home and tell people a story that a few would ever believe. No one cuts the rope! It could never be that bad! Why didn’t you do this, or try that? I could hear the questions, and see the doubts in the eyes even of those who accepted my story. It was bizarre, and it was cruel. I had been on to a loser from the moment he broke his leg, and nothing could have changed it.”                 In this extract from the text, Simon is trying to justify what he did and why it was right to cut the rope. He mentions how the situation he was in would have resulted in his and Joe’s death, whereas the decision he made resulted in only one death. He says that the moment Joe broke his leg he knew that something would go wrong and he is worrying about what people will say when they hear his story and whether they would believe him and doubt him

Shadows In The Ice – Chapter 7

In chapter 7 Joe has just fallen down the crevasse and at the beginning, he is bit confused as to what is happening. Joe uses contrast in the chapter to show his mixed feelings and thoughts, one moment he is thinking that he and Simon will die and the next he is thinking how amazing it is that he is alive, this is because he is very injured and delirious and his thoughts are all disjointed. Joe also has a lot of time with his thoughts and he comes up with contrast that is all accurate

The rope can be seen as a connection between Joe and Simon and when Joe is tugging on it hoping Simon is at the other end is representing how Joe still thinks Simon is alive and coming down to save him. When Joe realizes Simon is not at the other end it shows that Joe knows that he is on his own with no assistance from Simon.

Writing A Formal Response

State your point/topic (First sentence) – Simons narration is significant in Disaster – Chapter 5

Expand with relevant background detail – Simons narration is told through Joe’s perspective, however, Simon validated Joe’s account as “fair and correct” Simons “Voice” reveals that he resented Joes injury and that he felt justified in distancing himself from Joe.

Examples (Specific) – The text states… The reader is told… It is revealed… Words like… The selected text… tells us…

Response (Your response)
– What does the reader learn
– What does the reader think, visualize, feel
– What connections can the reader make to other experiences of contexts
– What is the overall purpose, message

The reader understands from this narration that Simon is calculating the value of his life against Joes. He also treats the situation logically and considers the odds of their survival, if Joe is assisted down the mountain. This presents the interesting reality about human nature: should we risk our own life for others? When does our commitment to a person end? Is it excusable to relinquish responsibility when we are endangered ourselves?

The Final Choice – Chapter 6

Joe and Simon face many struggles when they are trying to get back down the mountain. The most obvious of these being Joes broken leg which prevents him from climbing down himself meaning Simon has to help him. Another problem is the extreme cold, Both Simon and Joe are both suffering from minor frostbite and this is very bad for Simon as he has to uses his hands to lower Joe down. Another issue that they are having is the general conditions, as the poor visibility means Simon loses sight of Joe faster and this means he is unaware of what Joe is doing for longer

Joe recreates the tension when he is being lowered down the cliff by using emotive language to tap into the reader’s thoughts and experiences. Joe also uses short sentences to represent the thoughts he was having at the time which are rapid and disjointed because he lacks the time for clear thinking when he is being lowered into the void. The sentence “Then abruptly my feet were in space” is very sudden and the reader can clearly visualize what has happened and also what fear Joe would be going through at the time and it also puts a stop to the fall he describes and you feel that it is almost, ‘the calm before the storm’

Disaster – Chapter 5 (Climax)

  1. When Joe shatters his knee, it is one of the most climactic moments in the text. Joe uses extremely descriptive language to try and bring the reader into the story, to make them feel all the things he was going through at the time. “My knee exploded, bone grated and the fireball rushed from groin to knee” This hyperbole exaggerates and the metaphor gives the reader an image forces the reader to think about the unbelievable pain Joe is experiencing and puts them in the moment. In this section where Joe is examining his knee, he often talks about the pain as being fire, “A fierce burning ball”, “Stabs of fire”, “Pouring on fire”, “And the fire rushed from groin to knee” uses repetition to provide effect, He also uses personification to talk about the pain as he often refers to it as fire. This is also a contrast to the cold snowy environment he is in and I think this tells us the fact that the pain is so great he does not notice the cold and also that the pain is so great it takes over all his thoughts.

  2. Simons perspective is a key part of the text because it gives the thoughts and views of the person witnessing the injury, and is, therefore, going to be more rational in his thinking and in giving his opinions and it is an interesting thing to be given a perspective that, up until then, has not been presented to the reader. It shows Joe and Simon’s relationship changing because Simon realizes that he and Joe would be lucky to get back down the mountain alive, and if they did so Simon would be the one doing it all and I think this changes their relationship from being equals ( All though Joe indirectly saying he looks up to Simon because he is everything Joe is not ) to being one that is similar to a adult and a child because Simon is having to do most of the work.