In chapter 9 of touching the void, Joe uses light as a form of symbolism and gives it additional meaning instead of its literal meaning. When Joe is lowering himself deeper into the crevasse he reaches finally the snowy white floor and spots a beam of light shinning through a hole in the roof. Joe see’s this light, and uses it a strong symbol of hope and determination which can be shown when he says, ” I was going to reach that sunbeam. I knew it then with absolute certainty. How I would do it, and when I would reach it were not considered. I just knew.” This quote shows that this one beam of light, this one speck of hope, is all Joe needed to completely change his outlook on the situation and give him the energy and determination he needs to get out of the giant crevasse. Another example of how Joe’s mindset is instantly changed is showed when he says ” I felt invigorated, full of energy and optimism. I could see possible dangers, very real risks that could destroy my hopes, but somehow I knew I could overcome them.” This further shows how Joe has suddenly turned from someone who has accepted death, into someone full of optimism, that is not going to give up until he makes it.
In chapter 9 Joe is also strongly influenced by what he calls the voice. whilst he was crawling hopelessly across the vast glacier he experiences a voice in his head which was “clean and sharp and commanding. It was always right, and I listened to it when it spoke and acted on its decisions” This shows that Joe’s inner conscious is keeping him going and that no matter how much he wants to give up the voice is the only reason he is still crawling. Joe also states that ” The voice told me exactly how to go about it, and I obeyed while my other mind jumped abstractly from one idea to another” This again shows that even though Joe is thinking about something else, this voice is completely in control of his conscious, and for the reader this voice puts them on edge and makes you want to read more.