“On the edge” is a pun that relates well to the events that occur in chapter 4 of “Touching the Void”. This is because Joe and Simon are on the boundary of survival throughout the events that occur. They are trying to safely make their way down the mountain and need to be cautious while doing so. If they are not careful (e.g. losing their footing) Joe and Simon could then find themselves in a great level of danger. This is because the two of them are climbing in an unpredictable alpine environment. Joe and Simon are also a long way away from any help if something were to go wrong. The environment is unpredictable because the weather can quickly make a turn for the worse in an alpine environment. Other natural problems involve the risk of avalanche and rockfalls.
The use of foreshadowing is an important use of language in Joe’s book “Touching the Void”. Foreshadowing builds up tension for the reader and prepares them for future events that may take place later on. An example of foreshadowing in the early stages of the chapter is shown when Joe talks about a likely accident that could take place: “It seemed to me that the most likely accident would involve the whole ridge collapsing, taking us both down in one very long breakaway of snow.” Joe is foreshadowing death and perhaps also preparing himself for death at the same time. This can be interpreted from the way he is talking. It can also be seen that Joe is being cautious and thinking of how to get away from the possible things that could kill him. This is shown when he says “I saw the crack close up, and when I past it I breathed a sigh of relief.”