The Most Dangerous Game
The Most Dangerous Game
There are many different literary devices an author can use to develop a story. They select literary devices to create a plot, set the mood, and build excitement in their story. In Richard Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, he details his protagonist Rainsford, who discovers himself trapped on a Caribbean island. Connell is effective in using the literary devices of foreshadowing and suspense to bring a sense of fear and danger throughout his story.
As Connell begins his story, he uses conversation between Rainsford and his friend Whitney that foreshadows the main conflict in the story. As Rainsford and Whitney stand on the deck of the yacht, Rainsford explains, “The world is made up of two classes – the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are the hunters” (1). This use of foreshadowing suggests that the tables will soon be turned on the hunter.
The reader’s thoughts are being prepared for the plot twist to come. Later, Whitney speaks about the island saying, “An evil place can, so to speak, broadcast vibrations of evil” (2). This remark continues to set the mood and tone for more evil events that take place later. Connell’s use of foreshadowing is effective, because it prepares the reader’s mind with a sense of fear and danger that will follow Rainsford on the island. His use of foreshadowing is also effective, because it helps to create the mood and conflict in the story.
Author, Richard Connell, continues to bring a sense of fear and danger in his story as he uses suspense to bring excitement and create the mood. Connell draws attention to Rainsford’s courage and determination. While being hunted, Rainsford hopes that he will not lose his courage and strength. This is seen when he breaks for cover before changing hiding places. This use of suspense enables the reader to sympathize more with Rainsford and recognize the enormous amount of strength needed to survive his situation. The reader comprehends the ongoing effort Rainsford must give to survive. Another time, Rainsford faces more danger when Ivan and Zaroff hunt him with a pack of vicious dogs. Again, Rainsford escapes by using his clever kills to construct a trap that kills Ivan. As each continuous event becomes more dangerous, it leaves the reader feeling as if nothing could top the previous event.
Connell’s brilliant use suspense is effective because, it keeps the reader guessing what will happen next and hungry for more until the end of the story. In Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”, fear and danger are delivered through his effective use of literary devices foreshadowing and suspense. The mood is created with Connell’s detailed use of foreshadowing and suspense that builds excitement throughout the story.
Connell is effective in proving that the use of literary devices are a necessity in developing a captivating story.
Works Cited Connell, Richard. “The Most Dangerous Game” [Pdf].
Literary Analysis Of The Most Dangerous Game By Richard Connell
This research project dissects a piece by the short story guru Richard Connell. Known for his short story works and multiple O. Henry Memorial Awards, his short story, The Most Dangerous Game would go on to be his most memorable and one of his best. The research provided originates from many databases within the Bison Library including, critic pieces, biographies, and pictures, as well as other pieces of his work. This knowledge lead to a better understanding of his Tone, purpose of writing, and literary devices commonly used within his works.
At the age of ten Connell wrote for his father’s newspaper. This early environment of writing would set his future on a great path. This also shows his father’s influence on him, and his writing. When the United States joined the First World War so did Connell, serving in France for a year. In 1919 Connell married Louise Herrick Fox and moved to Paris and London for some time.
Writing style made “The Most Dangerous Game” a masterpiece. Connell uses literary devices such as foreshadowing, metaphors, and imagery to create a unique texture and tone to this piece. Connell at one point says “What Perils that tangle of trees and underbrush might hold for him did not concern Rainsford just then”. This is an example of foreshadowing, it allows readers to wonder about the story. Also foreshadowing builds the tone into a creepy like feeling. Connell then goes on to say “The lights of the yacht became ever faint and ever-vanishing fireflies…” Connell compares the lights to fireflies flying away. Allowing readers to visualize it in their minds. So it almost acts like imagery, but Connell really diggs deep into imagery when he explains the Generals dining room. Connell uses imagery in all of the story, but when he describes the dining room it builds such a great image it’s almost unforgettable. He says “There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a baronial hall of feudal time with its oaken panels, it’s high ceiling, it’s vast refectory tables where two score men could sit down to eat.” Connell’s imagery allows for a great picture, and a great way to set the setting. Also it makes the General so elegant and rich that he would never hunt humans.
Connell’s story has gotten praise around the world, with most critics loving it. Rena Korb says “I praise the complexity of the work regardless of the simplistic plot that only allows for two main characters.” Korb is completely right, Connell’s plot contains one problem with only two characters carrying it. Yet through advanced vocabulary and great use of foreshadowing it makes the plot complex. Terry W. Thompson praises his work for the story being more than just a “testosterone-pumping” action adventure story. Connell’s story in some ways can be looked at as an allegory, and contains questions such as what is the meaning of life. Connell’s strongest tool, vocabulary using words that deepen the plot of the story without changing it. He uses words like savage, underbrush, and flickering illumination. These words may be come in his era of writing, but the simplicity of the rest of the story allows readers even now to understand, and depict his writing.
The Use Of Literary Devices In Richard Connel’s The Most Dangerous Game
To fully understand someone, you must first walk in their shoes. There are things you will never truly comprehend until you experience them for yourself, such as genuine failure or even being pursued by an inevitable threat. Richard Connel emphasizes this theme in his short story, “The Most Dangerous Game”, by having a hunter named Sanger Rainsford experience how it feels like to be the prey instead of the predator. Initially taking place on a yacht in the Caribbean, Rainsford accidentally lunges overboard after hearing gunshots in the distance. While maintaining a certain coolheadedness with no other option left, Rainsford makes it onto the shore of a nearby island, where he finds General Zaroff, a Cossack hunter who is insanely passionate to the point where he even hunts down humans. Faced with constant terror of pain and death, Rainsford has to survive General Zaroff’s twisted game for three days until midnight. In doing so, Rainsford is forced to reconsider his position on how a hunted animal feels. By applying foreshadowing, irony, and metaphors, Connel is able to reveal that holding onto one’s ideals only takes them so far.
Firstly, Conel uses foreshadowing, the use of hints that suggest future events, to alert the readers of how Rainsford’s arrogance will get him into trouble.Foreshadowing allows the reader to infer what is in store for Rainsford as he refuses to accept what his fellow crewmate has to say. Whitney mentions to Rainsford about the superstition regarding ‘Ship-Trap Island’ and how great of a sport hunting is. However, she doesn’t forget to consider hunting from the opposite end. Rainsford, on the other hand, completely disregards the so-called philosophy about prey. He states, “Don’t talk rot, Whitney,” said Rainsford. “You’re a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares what a jaguar feels?” Rainsford also goes on to say that the ‘Ship-Trap Island’ superstition is “pure imagination.” Though Whitney is wary of a hostile presence of evil in the air, Rainsford fails to recognize any meaning in what she has to say. Furthermore, he is oblivious to the warning behind the infamous name of ‘Ship- Trap Island,’ which is reasonably the most noticeable form of foreshadowing throughout the whole story. The peculiar name foretells Rainsford’s predicament as he is stranded on a remote island with no means of escape. While Rainsford’s pride as a hunter continues to cloud his judgment, foreshadowing allows readers to sense the incoming danger. As foreshadowing omens the root of Rainsford’s problems, irony highlights the incongruity between Rainsford’s beliefs and actions.
Another literary device that shows how contemplating things holds value is irony, which occurs when expectations of something differs from reality. In this particular case, situational irony demonstrates how Rainsford was wrong in being quick to judge the hunted as weak during the exposition. ‘Nonsense,’ laughed Rainsford. ‘This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes–the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters.” (24) Rainsford categorizes himself as a hunter and asserts to Whitney that a jaguar is unable to sense anything emotionally. He proclaims that such trivial things shouldn’t be pondered upon, especially when it relates to prey, which we can assume Rainsford deems as weak and inferior. Later into the story, however, Rainsford is treated as the prey. Though he is at a great advantage, he manages to prevail and outsmart General Zaroff at his own game. Rainsford finally realizes how the hunted feels as he used his resources and prior knowledge to escape General Zaroff’s confrontations. By doing so, he disproves his argument that the hunted lie at the mercy of the hunters, which he refers to as superior.
Irony helps display how Rainsford was wrong in neglecting what could have happened because General Zaroff was defeated by his own “prey.” While irony refutes Rainsford’s claims, metaphors allow readers to grasp the consequences of neglectance to a greater extent. Lastly, Connel strengthens the reassurance obtainable through exploring different alternatives by implementing metaphors, a figure of speech that is used to make a comparison between two things. Metaphors clarify the dire situation Rainsford carelessly gets himself involved in by specifying an indirect similarity between two things. During the rising action of the story, Rainsford suddenly realizes, “The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse. Then it was that Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror.” As fear occupied Rainsford’s mind, he immediately makes the connection comparing himself to a mouse and General Zaroff to a cat, which is known to hunt mice due to their natural hunting instincts. After becoming aware of how skilled of a hunter General Zaroff is, Rainsford can only think of running away to find a temporary safe zone exactly as a mouse would. If Rainsford were to take notice of the situation beforehand, he wouldn’t have gotten himself in such a life- threatening situation. Now he has no choice but to subject himself to the perils affiliated with the affairs on ‘Ship-Trap Island.’ Metaphors allow the reader to understand what could’ve been possible if Rainsford were to take another course of action. One can’t help but feel relieved knowing they have escaped the hands of distress and anxiety. With that said, Connel is able to elaborate on how we should keep an open mind even if we are faced with ideas that challenge our own.
Given these points, one can conclude that Connel’s use of foreshadowing, metaphors, and irony throughout “The Most Dangerous Game” helped reveal that those who rely on their instincts alone can only go so far. By utilizing foreshadowing, the readers were able to conceive a sense of danger that Rainsford fails to recognize due to his ignorance. Whereas irony allowed one to see that always sticking to your gut will not always end the way you expect it to be. Furthermore, metaphors display displays what Rainsford could have avoided ,only if he was to act with more heed. Most importantly, Connel conveys the dangers and risks associated with not keeping in mind other possibilities. At times, you might find it hard to believe others, but their words may actually hold some truth. Though you may seem reluctant to agree with them at first, there’s no harm in taking a leap of faith in others.
The Most Dangerous Game By Richard Connell: Analysis Of The Characters Of Rainsford And Zaroff
The story that shocks me is “the Most Dangerous Game”. Mankind can do anything. The short story by Richard Connell “The Most Dangerous Game” explores the possibility of what a human race can do to achieve their goals. In this story, Rainsford and Zaroff are the big game hunters. Rainsford is all about hunting, killing, and he gets trap on an island. Both characters are emotionless; they do not care about what the animal feels. “Who cares how a jaguar feels?”.
Connell uses the characterization of Zaroff and character development of Rainford to prove what human can do. Zaroff is a man who likes to hunt big game. It does not matter if he loses his life hunting big game. I got interested in hunting at a young age when his father got him a gun. From that day he starts to build his skill in hunting, and he is a very talented and accomplished hunter. In the being when Zaroff is introduced, it looks like he is a very calm and intellectual person. He is the man who was worldly experiences, knowledge and has a very good taste of fashion. He loves a reading book about hunting and he has a rich feeling about China.
As the story progress, the author reveals that he is so fanatic about hunting that he starts to lose his interest, and he decides to hunt human. He becomes cold-blooded and calculative that he forgets the value of human life. This is only because he was getting bored and the animal that he was hunting could not reason. He is the individual that have no empathy for the people that comes to his Island. “It supplies me with the exciting hunting in the world. No other hunting compares with it for an instant. Every day I hunt, and I never grow bored now, for I have a quarry with which I can match my wits.”
Rainford is a very intelligent and intellectual person. He is also the individual who does not care what an animal feels. Rainsford is a dynamic character who undergoes many changes. He transforms from no feeling for the animals to care about animals, human life and their values. As Rainford hears that Zaroff huntsman, he tries to tell him that what he is doing is not hunting it is murdering a human. He declines the offer of hunting human with Zaroff because he can differentiate what is right and what is wrong. Then Rainsford becomes the victim of Zaroff’s hunting game. He is very clever, he tries many tricks on Zaroff to lead him in the wrong direction and takes various measures to play safe. He is also the person who has many skills and real-life experiences to win the game. “I am still a beast at bay”.
“The Most Dangerous Game” Narrative Essay
“The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story authored by Richard Connell published in 1924. It is a story about a hunter becoming the hunted. “The Most Dangerous Game” essay shall provide an analysis of the story. The main character Sanger Rainsford accompanied by his partner Whitney set out on a journey from New York to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The two are on a mission to hunt the Jaguar, a big cat in South America.
The play notes here that Rainsford loves hunting to the extent that he calls it the best sport in the world. In the course of their discussion over their ability to hunt wild animals, they are terrified suddenly by gunshots and screams. This occurs at night.
The scare makes Rainsford fall off their boat into the Caribbean Sea in trying to rescue his pipe. The circumstance did not allow him to swim back to the ship. He then swims to an island, which is in the direction that the yells and gunshots had come from. This island also happens to be a Ship-Trap zone. On the Island, Rainsford finds two inhabitants living in a palatial mansion. General Zaroff is the owner of the island and an astute hunter.
The second person is Zaroff’s servant, who is deaf and mute. His name is Ivan. It is surprising that after the introduction, Zaroff has heard of Rainsford from the books he has read about him hunting leopards in Tibet, China. They then have dinner together. Zaroff’s explanation follows this to Rainsford on how he got bored with killing wild animals because the adventure did not bring challenges anymore.
His adventure surprises Rainsford, who, even after persuasion, refused to join. What happens when Rainsford refuses to hunt with Zaroff? Zaroff says that he now captures sailors whose ships are wrecked; he then sends them to the forest with food, dressed in full hunting regalia and a knife. The sailors now become his target and turn to hunt and kill them. Being a determined General, he sets his limits to three days. If by the third day neither Ivan, his hunting dogs nor himself have killed the prey, he lets them go.
However, his hunting skills had never allowed an escape to occur. Rainsford turns down the offer to join the hunting of human beings. Zaroff gives him two options. To become either the next prey to be hunted or Ivan whips him to death. Rainsford chooses the former.
In “The Most Dangerous Game,” dogs and Ivan play equally significant role in the plot. This is a dangerous game pitting Rainsford on one side and Zaroff’s entire team of Ivan and the dogs on the other side. It is the use of stamina and strength with the show of intelligence. Zaroff makes sure that Rainsford gets the standard treatment of a captive, including giving him food supplies and instructions. The challenge is risky but very intriguing. Rainsford starts by hiding his hunting tactics. He climbs a tree where he is very visible.
This serves to convince Zaroff that Rainsford is easy prey and immediately turns it into the game. The next flow of events proves that Rainsford is a guru in hunting. He sets a trap made of a massive log joined to a tripwire. The first casualty is Zaroff. His shoulder is injured, sending him back to the mansion to sleep. The trap he uses here, he calls it, a Malay man catcher. Day one is done, and Rainsford knows that he has two to go.
His trap on day two killed one of Zaroff’s hounds. This is a trap he nicknames the Burmese tiger pit. The third trap, a native Ugandan knife, kills his servant Ivan. Rainsford then throws himself over the cliff and swims back to the mansion to evade Zaroff. On returning home, the presence of Rainsford in his bed curtains causes Zaroff to salute him. Rainsford refuses this and challenges him for a fight. As the “The Most Dangerous Game” narrative essay shows, he is confident that he can handle him.
Rainsford considers the hunting of human beings as cold blood murder. The general takes the challenge. The challenge affects both whoever loses the duel would be fed to the dogs, and the winner will sleep on Zaroff’s bed. Rainsford expressed that he had never slept on a better bed before. This implies that he killed Zaroff.
“The Most Dangerous Game” essay proves that reading this play, we can see the conflict between man and wild animals. This appears to be acceptable in the story. In the beginning, Rainsford and his partner proudly talk about their experiences in hunting. They are also on a hunting mission to hunt a jaguar. Furthermore, Zaroff, who also explains to Rainsford how he was a good hunter of wild animals before he sort new challenges, has featured Rainsford in books for his hunting skills as read.
Zaroff introduces the second conflict that is between men. Zaroff launches his new adventure of killing people. He uses his wealth to prove his inhuman actions. He is chasing people to kill them like wild animals. This was, in fact, the cause of his death at the ending of the play.
The Irony of Humanity in The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connel Essay
The story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connel is one of the most famous novels in its genre. The adventures of the main characters became the plot of the several movies. The Most Dangerous Game is a story about hunting of man another man in the isolated island.
The aim of this essay is to analyze the theme of the irony of humanity in The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connel.
The Confrontation between Rainsford and Zaroff
Rainsford is one of the main characters of the story. One day, he found himself in the small island in the Caribbean. He encountered Cossacks there. Zaroff, one of them, wants to kill Rainsford. The hunting started. When Rainsford and Zaroff met, Zaroff said that “Hunting tigers ceased to interest me some years ago. I exhausted their possibilities, you see. No thrill left in tigers, no real danger. I live for danger, Mr. Rainsford” (Connel n.pag.).
It should be noted that Rainsford was the inveterate hunter and he enjoyed hunting the animals. Hunting was the big game for him. However, he could not imagine that he would be the object of hunting himself. Zaroff told to Rainsford about his own hobby in the island,
“Here in my preserve on this island,” he said in the same slow tone, “I hunt more dangerous game.”
Rainsford expressed his surprise. “Is there big game on this island?”
The general nodded. “The biggest.”
“Really?” (Connel n.pag.)
The hunting of Zaroff and his pursuit of Rainsford represented the big game and the most dangerous one.
The Irony of Humanity
Richard Connel used certain literary techniques to endow his story with the inner meaning. In particular, he uses the allegory and irony in order to provide an insight into the good and evil sides in the story.
Irony is defined as “a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude to which is actually or ostensibly stated” (Irony n.pag.).
The irony of the Rainsford world outlook surrounds his story. On the one hand, he thinks that hunting the animals is not a murdering but he is convinced that Zaroff is the murderer because he hunts people, on the other hand.
In addition, Rainsford says that the animals do not have a feeling of fear justifying the hunting and its ethical background this way. However, it seems that the feeling of fear is the exactly what he experienced when he has realized that he is the target of the hunter himself. Ironically, the arrogance and violence characterize both the hunter and the hunted (Richard Connel-Writing Style n.pag).
The theme of irony of humanity is evident not only in the world perception and personal views of Rainsfrod but also in the contradictions evident in the life on the island. The author tries to show us that although the modern world is generally characterized by the high level of development and civilization, the countries are still hunting each other for the resources.
Even those countries which proclaim the highest standards of living and democratic values continue using primitive and unethical ways of gaining more resources and benefits. The war and military interventions are some of such ways.
In order to sum up all above mentioned, it should be said that The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connel represents a captivating story about the adventures in the Caribbean island. However, the story is not only interesting from the point of its fascinating plot. Rather, the inner meaning makes it valuable from the literary point of view. The irony of humanity is one of the central themes in the story. The author tries to make us think about the contradictions and the shortcomings of the modern world and the international relations.
Connel, Richard n.d., “The Most Dangerous Game”. Classic Short Stories. Web. http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/danger.html
“Irony” Dictionary.reference.com. n.d. Web. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/irony
“Richard Connel-Writing Style” WordPress.com n.d. Web. https://richardconnelthemostdangerousgame.wordpress.com/writing-style/
Violence and Justice in The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell Essay
The destructive power of the conflict in terms of human history is vividly manifested in The Most Dangerous Game novel written by Richard Connell in 1924. It is a strangely unique short narrative, depicting multiple conflicts throughout the entire plot with the battling nature of the main characters. More specifically, Rainsford, a big-game hunter from New York and Zaroff, a Russian aristocrat, and the society itself. As the man who fought in the war himself, Connell created a story where one can sense the disastrous effect of the experienced violence. Considering this, the novel conveys the overall impact of the brutality on the minds of human beings, as part of society, by raising a question of the justifiable murder.
Critical points of Richard Connell’s biography
The celebrated American writer Richard Connell was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was a Harvard-trained newspaper reporter and an insatiable reader. Connell started writing since his early years and became an editor volunteer for the newspaper. He created an abundant heritage with more than 300 short stories over his comparatively short 30-year writing career (Grobman et al., 2016). At an older age, he published many novels and short stories, among which was The Most Dangerous Game that brought him imperishable fame (Babamiri, 2017, p.1). The idea of the literary masterpiece is about losing self-control, about fear and frustrations, about the culture forming and civilization issues, as well as the adverse outcomes after the passage of the war.
Summary of the novel and the analysis of Sanger Rainsford
The story portrays the protagonist Sanger Rainsford, a young American writer and a world-renowned big-game hunter with the adventurous spirit. Rainsford, with another hunter Whitney, is sailing through the Caribbean on their way to Brazil, where they aimed to hunt jaguar up the Amazon River. As a combat veteran of World War I, Rainsford courageously endures the unfortunate accident of the shipwreck that occurs late one night and brings him to the rocky shore of the island.
After the deepest sleep of his life and more exploration, Rainsford discovers, what seemed a mirage, a remarkable vision of northern European luxury and excess (Thompson, 2018, p. 2). He meets General Zaroff in his mansion, the man, who is passionate about only one thing in life, the hunt, and is already familiar with the Rainsford’s achievements. Considering him as a new victim, Zaroff is genuinely honest about his passion as he opens up about his preference for hunting the kind of animal that brings reason, which he called the “big game.” The next morning Rainsford is being told about the Zaroff’s mission to be hunted and, petrified, Rainsford departs and decides to outsmart the Russian aristocrat. After a continuing cat-and-mouse play with each other, several traps and injuries, Rainsford defeats General Zaroff in his mansion.
Connell’s novel challenged the basic principles of morality with its gruesome plot. According to Romagnoli, the novel is addressing the conflict in all of its flavors and is used as a literary trope (2017, p. 27). The writer conveyed the strong battling nature of both of the characters. Sanger Rainsford is an ardent big game hunter, who is swimming to the shore with the firm will to survive and is fully prepared for such an experience based on his past. He meets Zaroff, the island’s only civilized inhabitant, a man who is as much passionately devoted to hunting as Rainsfordand is. He gives Sanger an intimidating ultimatum to withstand a three-day deadly fight of human versus human or more accurately hunter versus hunted. Another case of the battling nature is manifested when Rainsford doubts his ability to avoid being killed.
The analysis of antagonist General Zaroff
General Zaroff, on the other hand, is a man who also experienced the war and seen a lot of dead people in front of himself. Consequently, his past affected his mental health and psych, however, in a very contrary way. Zaroff does not hesitate to become a murderer and shows no respect for other people’s lives, which makes him potentially dangerous for the protagonist Rainsford.
Zaroff hunting Rainsford and his “perverted philosophy of how hunting people are not ethically justified by society” is another sign of the battling nature (Romagnoli, 2017, p. 27). He claims that God made him a hunter, and his hand was made for a trigger, which was initiated by his father at the very young age of Zaroff. His sickly passionate hunting made it boring for General Zaroff to hunt animals and led him to hunt the people instead. While the protagonist and antagonist are equally matched in skills, for the “antagonist, who was hunting animals had long outlived his challenge, and only a new animal capable of reasoning would test his skills” (Grobman et al., 2016, p.191). Human beings amuse Zaroff in the way that they bring reasons, and he can demonstrate his power to them.
The symbolic undertone of the plot
The events of the novel take place in the jungle, which the author symbolically interprets in order to show the corrupted civilization. Following the ideas of Babamiri, the wild and ungovernable habitat of the jungle assumes the role of the “powerful symbol of Zaroff’s tangled psyche, and the chaos within the island” (2017, p.284). It also symbolizes the constraint and loss of control by Rainsford, as it disrupts his attempt to return to civilization. With the lack of rules, the jungle is not the place for humans to inhabit, because it makes them forget that they are first of all humans.
Under the absence of any societal rules, the hunter is more likely to lose both his moral and human principles. Besides, in such conditions, he inclined to nurture the atrocity into his soul. Such an outcome was a direct post effect of the war that made General Zaroff a real animal with no sympathy for others (Babamiri, 2017). Passing through the war ruined the power of civilization and its cultural values. Even though civilization existed for a long time, it was modified by new cultural values. Babamiri states that “culture is the advancement in a civilization, but civilization is a state of social culture” (2017, p.280). Referring to the question of the war effect on the minds of the main characters that embody the writer himself, it caused them to eliminate the limits of self-restraint that were respected before.
The central concept of The Most Dangerous Game, as intended by the author, is the notion of the absolute most dangerous game, which is human versus human. Rainsford versus Zaroff is the central conflict in the novel of two adventurous and courageous men, unified by the passage of war but separated by fundamentally different effects of the violent interpersonal background. Considering the wild environment issues of the jungle, one can trace the striking impact and gap of human manifestation. Connell is questioning the role of civilized society, as a good impact on Rainsford, despite his passion for animal hunting. Thus, the absence of it was a bad impact on Zaroff, who voluntarily chose the solitude in ungovernable habitat, which led to the horrific violence towards humans that was paid off in terms of justice.
Babamiri, N. (2017) ‘The revival of the underscored value of life and lost civilization in The most dangerous game.’ International review of humanities and scientific research, 2(2), pp.279-286.
Grobman, S., Cerra, A. and Young, C. (2016) The second economy: the race for trust, treasure and time in the cybersecurity war. New York: Apress.
Romagnoli, A. (2017) ‘The man with identities’, in S. Eckard, (ed.) Comic connections. Analyzing Hero and Identity. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp.23-28.
Thompson, T. (2018) Potemkin Redux: Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”. ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0895769X.2018.1537837
“The Most Dangerous Game” a Story by Richard Connell Essay
“The Most Dangerous Game” (1924), a short story written by Richard Connell, is one of the first literary pieces to tell the tale of human hunting – a subject highly popularized in the contemporary popular culture. The story is frequently viewed as an entertaining “hunter-becomes-the-hunted” tale filled with suspense and thrill (Thompson 86). However, despite this popular interpretation, the story conveys a deeper socio-political message about the impact of war and violence on people, by juxtaposing two representatives of the New and Old World in a dark and menacing setting.
The two primary characters in the story are a world-famous American hunter Sanger Rainsford and a Russian Cossack General Zaroff, who meet on an isolated island where the Russian expatriate resides in solitude, together with his mute servant Ivan (Connell 15). Once the reader learns about the men’s characters, it becomes clear that their names are, in fact, charactonyms. Rainsford’s first name is a play on the word “sanguine,” meaning lively, optimistic, and cheerful – all these adjectives are representative of the “great American democratic ideal” (Thompson 87). Ominously, his name also sounds similar to the Latin word for blood, “sanguis.” On the other hand, the Cossack’s name, apart from having the –off ending to signify his Russian roots, bears a particular resemblance to the word “tzar,” which denotes the authoritative leader of the pre-revolutionary Russia. Thus, the very names of the characters imply a clear contrast between the democratic New World and the aristocratic and violence-ridden Old World.
This distinction is further highlighted through the story’s secondary characters. Apart from the tale’s protagonist and antagonist, only two other people are mentioned in the story, each one of them associated with Rainsford and Zaroff, respectively. However, the interactions between the main characters and their associates are highly indicative of their personality. In the case of Rainsford, his brief conversation with Whitney in the beginning of the story sounds casual and informal, yet respectful – a kind of interaction that two amicable equals would have (Thompson 89). Zaroff and Ivan, on the other hand, present a completely different kind of relationship. First of all, Ivan is both deaf and mute, meaning that he is unable to provide a human connection for Zaroff. However, it appears that the latter treats him like nothing more than a useful object. When Ivan dies, the only thought of him that occurs in Zaroff’s mind is that “it would be difficult to replace him,” and even this thought does fully occupy him as he immediately starts reflecting on his other concerns (Connell 44).
The symbolism that Connell uses to describe the character of Zaroff is also highly significant in terms of capturing his evil personality. The first symbol is the color red that repeatedly occurs in the situations that involve Zaroff, be it the rich Russian borsht, Zaroff’s bright lips, or his servant’s crimson sash (Connell 16, 17, 35). This color is typically associated with violence which even Zaroff admits is his main hobby in life (Connell 17). Similarly, darkness is another story’s leitmotif surrounding the character of Zaroff. Since the very beginning of the story, the author talks about the night’s blackness that is so thick it is almost “palpable” (Connell 4). The color describes not only the story’s setting – the gloomy and isolated Ship-Trap Island – but also the protagonist’s appearance, with his black eyebrows, military mustache, and eyes (Connell 15). Similarly, Ivan is depicted wearing a black uniform (Connell 14). These repetitive mentions of black and red create not only a rather menacing portrait of the general but also an overall sinister atmosphere.
However, even though initially the main characters are significantly contrasted, this clear distinction between them fades away as the story progresses, so as to emphasize the effect that war and violence have on people. As Rainsford swims to the island in the beginning of the story, he hears a “high screaming sound” of an animal “in an extremity of anguish and terror” (Connell 9). As the audience learns later, this animal is, in fact, a human being. However, Rainsford is so innocent at this moment that even he, an experienced hunter, does not realize that the scream comes not from an animal, but from a person. Later in the story, when Zaroff proposes to Rainsford to hunt sailors together, the man is clearly disgusted and appalled by the proposal (Connell 33). Being involuntarily drawn into Zaroff’s cruel game, Rainsford is completely transformed under the influence of fear and desire to survive. The abrupt ending of the story captures this transformation by emphasizing that Rainsford is happy to be alive, and does not have any concerns about the violence that transpired at the island.
Undoubtedly, Connell’s story is a classic “hunter-becomes-the-hunted” tale that excites the readers’ senses by keeping them in suspense. It is, however, important to examine the story’s historical context to understand its deeper meaning: wars and violence are capable of transforming even the most democratic countries into brutal and aggressive societies.
Connell, Richard. The Most Dangerous Game. North Charleston, South Carolina: CreateSpace, 2014. Print.
Thompson, Terry W. “Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game.” The Explicator 60.2 (2002): 86-88. Print.
The Three Hunters
Richard Connell and Ray Bradbury introduce the reader to experienced hunters who share three common character traits in their short stories. After comparing and contrasting character traits among Rainsford and Zaroff from Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” and Eckels from Bradbury’s, “A Sound of Thunder,” one sees that the best hunter of the group is Rainsford. While each character possesses patience, observancy, and the ability to handle pressure, Rainsford uses these traits in the wisest and most proficient manner. Hunters need many different assets, yet patience is one of the most important.
The key to being a successful hunter is being patient. Rainsford demonstrates his patience in many ways during the three days of the most dangerous game. Unlike Rainsford, Eckels shows no patience on his own hunt millions of years prior: “Out of the mist a hundred yards away, came the Tyrannosaurus rex” (Bradbury 84). Rainsford’s patience is the key factor that separates him from Eckels, who becomes frantic during the hunt. Through Ship Trap Island, Zaroff is able to portray his patience as well. Eckels, on the contrary, cannot attain the same sense of imperturbability, because he constantly asks questions: “Eckels flushed. Where’s our Tyrannosaurus?” (Bradbury 84). Zaroff has the ability to slowly guide a ship to provide more participants in the most dangerous game, unlike Eckels, whose prey comes running at him. Eckels simply has no patience, a sharp contrast to both Zaroff and Rainsford. To demonstrate his dedication and commitment, Zaroff says, “So I bought this island, built this house, and here I do my hunting. (Connell 21) Eckels’ lack of patience is unfit for a task such as the most dangerous game. Rainsford’s patience is greater than that of both Zaroff and Eckels. Being patient is a useful trait, but without keen observance, all chances of success are dashed.
While hunting, being observant of your surroundings and enemies can mean the difference between life and death. Rainsford makes use of his senses by observing the environment of Ship Trap Island and using it to his advantage. Eckels however, fails to use the natural environment 60,002,055 years in the past, “A sound on the floor of the time machine stiffened them. Eckels sat there shivering.” (Bradbury 86). While Eckels can barely walk through the forest without getting himself killed, Rainsford has the ability to use his surroundings to injure and kill his enemies. Zaroff can be observant as well, but his skills are not honed as precisely as those of Rainsford. While not up to par with Rainsford, Zaroff is still more observant than Eckels, who is constantly corrected by the leaders of the hunt, “Stay on the path. Stay on the path!” (Bradbury 84). Zaroff scours the path for bits of information, while Eckels can barely keep on it. Eckels has no skill of observing, nearly meeting death on several occasions. Rainsford is quite the opposite, using many parts of nature to his advantage, “… the dead tree, delicately adjusted to rest on the cut living one, crashed down and struck the general a glancing blow…” (Connell 27). Eckels lack of observancy is the polar opposite of Rainsford, and this puts his life at risk. While Rainsford uses many aspects of the jungle to put him ahead, Zaroff and Eckels fall behind. Despite one’s skills of making traps and observing the wild, pressure can make or break a person.
Handling pressure can lead anyone to succeed, but failing to do so can result in disastrous conclusions. Of the three, Rainsford deals with pressure in the most effective manner. Unlike Eckels, who stumbles and almost gets himself killed during the hunt for the tyrannosaurus with Lesperance, Rainsford makes sound decisions in matters of life and death, “Eckels! He took a few steps blinking, shuffling. Not that way!” (Bradbury 85). Rainsford is not only able to survive the strikes of those who attack him, but actually manages to kill them under intense pressure. Zaroff is also able to deal with the stress that comes with pressure. Zaroff perseveres through pressure and is able to keep a calm disposition, unlike Eckels, who loses his confidence during the hunt, “”It can’t be killed,” Eckels pronounced this verdict quietly, as if there could be no argument.” (Bradbury 85). Zaroff uses his knowledge of past experiences to stay calm and continue the hunt. Unlike the other two, Eckels cannot handle pressure. Rainsford displays the polar opposite of Eckels untimely actions. “His mind worked frantically. He thought of a native trick he learned in Uganda… “The knife, driven by the recoil of the springing tree, had not wholly failed.” (Connell 28). While Rainsford uses all of his time to his advantage, Eckels fails to comply. Rainsford uses every second he has to make a positive situation for himself, while Zaroff and Eckels are not as capable of attaining such perfection.
Rainsford’s Character in “The Most Dangerous Game”
“The Most Dangerous Game” is a short story and thriller by Richard Connell, which takes place after World War II on a remote island. The story chronicles the misadventures of a distraught castaway, as he makes his way through a mad man’s playground, narrowly escaping death at each turn. General Zaroff, the castaway’s captor, forces Rainsford into a game of murder that ends in Zaroff’s demise. Rainsford, the protagonist, is an embodiment of our inner man, the beast that dwells just below our outer psyche, the part of us that others, even those held close, fails to see. Throughout the story, Rainsford’s beliefs, temperament, sense of self and ultimate state of consciousness morph as the story progresses, which makes him a hard to miss, dynamic character. The most notable change in Rainsford is in his beliefs. Rainsford, an adept hunter, initially believes that animals experience no fear or recognizable emotion. He demonstrates this when he jubilantly states, “Who cares what a jaguar feels?”(11). He later insinuates that animals have no intelligence as he proudly declares, “Bah, they have no understanding” (11). Rainsford takes his egotistic beliefs and opinions further by ridiculing the animals he hunts and by partitioning his humanity from their primitive existence. His paradigm shifts dramatically when Zaroff announces his plans to hunt Rainsford down. He is released into the island’s dense jungle and abandons his treasured humanity in order to survive. During Zaroff’s challenge, Rainsford imitates the very animals he gallantly hunts. As the hunted, he feels the dreaded fear of the hunter, Zaroff. Briefly, Rainsford attempts to turn the tide on Zaroff by tapping into the fox’s trickery to confuse Zaroff. By doing so he acknowledges an animal’s intelligence. While awaiting Zaroff’s approach, Rainsford experiences anxiety while hiding in a tree, paralleling the jaguar. In the process, Rainsford changes. He shows an understanding, if not mutual respect, for animal emotion, in those actions.Rainsford’s shifting temperament changes next. He originally hails himself a marvelous hunter, best of his field, top of his class. Likewise, he thinks of himself as an elite class, hunter; while the other, seemingly weak, people are destined to be hunted. Before his capture, he tells his companion, Whitney that “the world is made up of two classes-the hunters and the huntees” (11). He goes on to state, “Luckily you and I are the hunters” (11).That fact does not hold true. The minute Rainsford steps onto Shiptrap Island, he becomes the hunted. He is also shocked that despite his best efforts, using all of his extensive hunter knowledge, he is not able to evade Zaroff. He eventually comes to the realization that he is not the best hunter and anyone can suddenly become the “huntee” (11).Along with his thoughts and temperament, Rainsford’s consciousness also begins to warp. During his initial meeting with Zaroff, Rainsford holds himself as a civilized member of society. After the unveiling of Zaroffs plans to hunt humans, he draws a wedge between Zaroff and himself under the grounds that he respects life yet Zaroff, an insane brute, does not. All his preconceived notions soon change. The first hint of the monster inside of Rainsford is evident when “he [feels] an impulse to cry aloud with joy…he [hears] the sharp crackle of braking branches as the cover of the pit [gives] way…he [hears] a sharp scream of pain as the pointed stakes [find] their mark.”(24). as his trap finally works on one of Zaroff’s dogs. In his tone, an apparent blood lust is audible if not visible from the sheer enjoyment found in the potential loss of life. Even after beating Zaroff at his own game and essentially earning his freedom, Rainsford still feels a hidden, inner impulse, a burning desire from inside. That impulse may very well be his animal instinct taking over when he says, “I am still the beast at bay” (25). After uttering those words he goes and defies his own logic and sanity by butchering Zaroff. Rainsford enlists himself into the ranks of the savage. His entrance into the realm of insanity becomes indisputable when he peacefully slumbers in Zaroff’s bed after committing murder. He becomes much like the animals and moves even closer to Zaroff, losing the ability to differentiate right from wrong.All things considered, a great deal can be learned from Rainsford’s experiences. He is an dynamic character whose brazen behavior helps us further diagnose the human condition. All people are good, yet all hold the potential for evil. Philosophers analogize humans to rolling stones. All must roll but not all must wade in the same moss. Humans are born good natured but social pressures twist a human’s perception of life, much like Rainsford on Ship Trap Island. The darkness inside of him is only awakened by the stress of General Zaroff’s challenge. His mind struggles to accommodate to its new environment and living conditions. Rainsford simply serves as a warning that the same beast dwells inside us all. Or is it already out?