The Irony of Humanity in The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connel Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


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.

Works Cited

Connel, Richard n.d., “The Most Dangerous Game”. Classic Short Stories. Web.

“Irony” n.d. Web.

“Richard Connel-Writing Style” n.d. Web.

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