The nature of survival.



“Survival can be summed up in three words – never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying.” – Bear Grylls.  The nature of survival covers many different aspects In the films “Rabbit Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce and “Eight Below” directed by Frank Marshall. Also in the novels “Touching the Void” written by Joe Simpson and “Empty” written by Suzanne Weyn.


Touching the void.


The nature of survival was shown in the text “ Touching The Void “ by “ Joe Simpson “. A first aspect of survival shown in this text was when Joe breaks his leg by his ice axes slipping in the ice. Him and Simon Yates were making their way across the mountain when it happened. He soon found himself sliding down the slope until he hit the bottom; his knees both locked and his right knee shattered. “ As the hammer came out there was a sharp cracking sound and my right hand, gripping the axe, pulled down “… “ Both knees locked as I struck it ( the slope ). I felt a shattering blow in my knee, felt bones splitting, and screamed. “ This shows how easy it is to make a regretful mistake. This also shows that Simon now needs to make a decision whether to help joe get down or just leave him up at Siula Grande. Simon’s decision could be fatal to him or Joe. He made his decision to lower joe straight down the mountain not knowing that their was a large crevasse right in the middle. This survival decision of Simon’s could have been very fatal because neither of the men knew what was straight down the face, because it was getting dark and they did not come up that way. Unfortunately there was a large crevasse just off the bottom of the step face. Joe finds out as he is getting lowered when he notices the ground getting steeper and icier. By these examples we now know that decisions of people can be very negative or very positive they can also be fatal.


A second aspect of survival in this text was when Simon was lowing Joe down the mountain. They had decided to lower Joe straight down the mountain using ropes that have been tied together. When Simon got to the knot Joe would have to get his weight of the rope so Simon could change it over. When this aspect occurred it happened to be dark and stormy so Simon couldn’t see where he was lowering Joe. We know that this was a bad idea because anything could have happened and they couldn’t anything about it because it was dark. As Simon was lowering Joe down the mountain he didn’t realise that there was a large crevasse right below where they were going. Joe knew that it was coming up because he could feel the slope getting steeper and the ice getting tougher. He was screaming at Simon to stop but Simon couldn’t hear him over the storm. Then Simon realised that the rope got really tough all of a sudden and Simon knew that he had just lowed Joe into the top of a crevasse. “Joes fallen… whatever Joe had gone over had stopped him getting his weight of the rope”. After hours of waiting for Joe to try new things Simon had gotten frost bite on his fingers and his snow seat he was sitting in was slowly giving way. He very quickly made the decision to cut the rope on Joe. This scenario shows that sometimes you have to stop at your limit and have a break.


Rabbit Proof Fence.


The nature of survival was shown in the film “ Rabbit Proof Fence “ by “ Phillip Noyce “. The first aspect of survival shown was when Molly wanted to escape the Moore River settlement before the storm so the rain could wash away Molly, Daisy and Gracies tracks. This is shown in the film when Molly is told to “take the bucket out.” She looks outside and thunder is heard; she realizes that it is going to rain (which would assist to cover their tracks). She says to Daisy and Gracie: “Come on. Get your things. We’re going. We’re going home to mother.” This proves that Molly has really good survival skills and knows to use the land around her. Molly also decides to escape at the start of the day when everyone is assembling in the church. The Moore River staff do the roll call at the end of the day so Molly decided to also go at this time and give them the whole day to escape. Gracie however doubts this and many more decisions of Molly’s. This is because it is to far and Gracie thinks that the girls will not make it. Gracie does not want to go. She says, “We like it here” and Daisy is still concerned, “That tracker, he gonna get us an put us in that room”. This quote is from the film and shows that Gracie does not want to go. This scene shows that Molly knows how to use all the resources in the land and live of what they have. This has a really positive effect to the girls knowledge on the land and their skills when it comes to survival.


A second aspect of survival shown in the film “ Rabbit Proof Fence “. This was shown when Molly distracted the girls by playing games. This was shown when the girls had been walking for a couple of days and they were starting to get tired and frustrated, Molly started a game called I spy. This is when one of the girls would say something that they can see and the others have to guess what it is. Molly keeps the girls walking with a game: “I see an Emu…I see a big kangaroo.” This game took the girls minds of the walk and made them think about other things.  This proves that Molly also is quite smart and thinks outside the box. Also when Molly Daisy and Gracie are walking it is seen that the girls find an aboriginal man carrying a kangaroo. The girls approach him because he is an aboriginal and they trust him. Before they give him any information Molly wants to make sure that he won’t tell anyone their sensitive information. The man gave the girls the tail of his kangaroo and he asked “Do you girls know what you are doing” and Molly responds with a “Yes”. This is because kangaroos meat makes you very sick if you eat it raw. So the man wanted to know if the girls knew this and how to cook it properly. He also gave them a box of matches. This text can be related to “ Touching The Void “ by “ Joe Simpson “ because of the fact that in “ Touching The Void “ Joe and Simon had to survive without food and water in very harsh and freezing weather. In the text “ Rabbit Proof Fence “ the three girls Molly, Gracie and Daisy had to survive in the hottest weather without food and water, just like Joe and Simon did.


Eight below.


The film “ Eight Below ” by Frank Marshall is about how 8 dogs had to fight to fight to survive in Antarctica during a deadly storm. The reason the dogs had to stay there is because the people that were in Antarctica had to leave immediately because of an unnoticed storm. Jerry Sheppard was the one who owned the base and a scientist named Davis Mcclaren came to find a meteorite rock that they predicted that had landed near the shelter. They went out and found the rock, However on the way back David fell down a slope, broke his leg and fell into frozen water. They plane that was taking them could not fit all the 5 humans plus the dogs into it so the plane had to take two trips. However after the first trip the storm got to big and to powerful for the plane to get in and out of. This forced the dogs to stay put at the shelter.


The nature of survival was shown in the film “ Eight Below “ by “ Frank Marshall “.  This is because a first aspect of survival shown was when Jerry Sheppard and David Mcclaren were out looking for a meteorite rock. They had found the rock and on the way back David was going to the toilet and he slipped down a little slope. When he did this he broke his leg as well as falling into a frozen pond, David had said “I think my leg is broken”. Jerry very quickly reacted to this by getting his smartest dog who is Mya, she is also the leader of the dogs, and Jerry put a rope into the dog’s mouth. The dog walked over the thin ice and put the rope around D.R Mcclaren. Jerry then tied the rope to his sled and pulled David out of the freezing glacier water. Jerry mended David by wrapping him up warm and tying his leg straight so it would not bend as much. They then made the journey back to the shelter. This shows that Jerry knows how to survive and help others that need help in the harshest conditions.


A second aspect of survival shown was when Jerry and the crew had to leave because of the storm and the dogs had to stay put and fight to survive. This meant that the dogs had to physically survive in the cold of the winter. When the crew left they left the dogs tied up by their collars to a rope. The dogs managed to escape from their frozen chains by helping each other bite or slip their collars off. After all the dogs had escaped they went over and hunted a flock of seagulls for food. They decided to keep moving and finding food, they managed to find an old run down hut that they stayed at for shelter and also their was some food inside that kept the dogs going for a few days. Finding shelter really helped the dogs while the humans were away because they were trying to survive a deadly storm. When the dogs had eaten all the food in this hut they moved on again hunting for food and shelter. The dogs came across an orca whale’s carcass that they ate, however they didn’t realise that a leopard seal had already claimed the carcass. The dogs got attacked by this seal and only one of the dogs got bit on her leg, all of the other dogs attack the seal until it swims away. Another aspect of survival shown was when the dogs slept, they slept close together and huddled tightly for warmth. The dogs needed to keep as warm as possible and also have the energy to keep them going throughout the hearty storm. This shows that the dogs had to physically survive in the harshest conditions and they showed great teamwork which in the end lead to surviving and going home safely.




The text “ Empty “ written by “ Suzanne Weyn “ is about the future and how earth runs out of fossil fuels such as petroleum and oil. This means that their is no driving and no heating in winter also it means that it will be very hard to get food because all of the food that gets delivered is by large trucks and if their is no gas the trucks will not be able to get into the small towns around the world. This text includes the main characters of Gwen Jones, Tom Harris, Nikki Barton and Luke Jones who is Gwen’s brother. The novel/story is based in a small American town called Sage Valley and is aimed for 10 years from now.


The nature of survival was shown in the text “ Empty “ written by “ Suzanne Weyn “. A first aspect shown was when the small town had to fight to survive without fuel and only a small amount of food. Also any oil based object was going extinct, some oil based objects include pens, nail polish, make up, medicine, lubricants… So these people had to live without any of these objects which would be very hard. Gwen managed to survive because her brother Tom was buying and stealing black market fuel and oil. However her parents had left the Jones’s, so they had to survive together and Tom wasn’t a very good influence on her. Also one day Tom had just got a lot of fuel and got drunk with his mates, he soon realised that he had burned down his house. This had a really big negative effect on Tom and Gwen, mostly Gwen because she is young. They now had to survive in the cold of winter without shelter and food. The reason Gwen and Tom couldn’t just stay at a friends house is because it was illegal that Tom was looking after her because he is under age (17). They both fled in different directions but they were both ok. Gwen survived by going into the forest where they had played as kids. She went back to the old run down mine that they used to play in when they were kids. She got her food from friends and kept under cover in the mine until she heard about OscPeal. OscPeal is a super hurricane that was formed from two hurricanes merging together.


Oscar and Pearl were both formed because of global warming and the fact that everyone was trying to dig for oil. They just happened to be merging into the same path and heading towards sage valley. Everyone knew this was happening so everyone knew they had to take cover. Gwen probably would have to have been the unluckiest, because she didn’t even have a home to take shelter during the super hurricane. The storm came quicker than they had imagined and one day it just hit without very much notice. Gwen scarpered very quickly back to the mine when she noticed that it was here. She was carrying a bag of groceries and the bag ripped and she lost her food. Just as gwen was reaching the forest a large tree cracked and with a bag it came crashing down. Gwen quickly dove for cover and after a minute of shock she sprang to her feet and ran for the mine. When she got into it she just sat down and cried about what the world has come to. After one of the storm Gwen woke up with fright, she walked outside of the mine looking at an unspeakably wrekt forest. “Outside ancient trees fell, one after the other, smashing into the ground and shaking it, crashing into one another and shattering with force like bombs”. Gwen walked outside and realised she was looking into the eye of Osc Pearl. Gwen tucked back into her mine and stayed put until the end of terroir. When she reaised it had passed Gwen turned to see that a large tree had blocked her entry and exit. She tried to push and pull bits of wood out but it wasn’t working. The only thing that kept going through her head was to go deeper into the mine. After a few hours of trying Gwen decided to go into the mine and find another way out. To Gwen’s amazement she found a metal door that had been polished lately and it was open. Gwen looked inside and realised that it was a modern day house that had grown food and water. She quickly ate a good meal of real and home grown vegetables and had a big drink of spring water. This house was called the whipper snapper 3 and it is the world’s next big thing. It contained a character which was an organic generator made from everyday appliances like plates and plastic and rubber bands. After Gwen found this the world changed and everyone grew their own food and lived individually. This text shows how harsh and unpredicted survival can be even when you think everything’s going ok. This text can be related to “ Eight Below “ by “ Frank Marshall “because of the fact that a very deadly thing natural disaster or the world becomes a fossil free zone. These texts show how unwarned and quickly something very bad can happen.




In the Films “ Rabbit Proof Fence “ by “ Phillip Noyce “, “ Eight Below “ by “ Frank Marshall “ and in the texts “ Touching The Void “ by “ Joe Simpson “ and “ Empty “ by “ Suzanne Weyn “, the nature of survival is shown, physically, from the characters. This is because the examples show that the characters have to survive through natural disasters, injuries and fighting for their families. From these texts 9 out of 12 characters survived through their intense and harsh survival scenarios that they were forced into. These texts are all related to the characters having to physically survive.

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