lAnalyzing the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. The purpose of my essay is to “critically analyze” this short story, “paying particular attention to what literary devices the author employs to enhance the story”. In addition, I will talk about “what this short story has elevated it into the canon of classic literature”. (Instruction Essay #1 Short Stories). I chose to write about The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell, which was first published in 1924. This is an adventurous short story that has a very interesting plot.
According to critic David Kippen, “The story is an extremely successful example of the adventure genre, and the stereotypes Connell uses to create the dynamic balance from which its action springs evoke allegories which remain relevant today”(Kippen). Connell had used different literary devices like: symbols, suspense, dilemma, mystery, foreshadow, contrivance, and conflicts which makes this story very interesting and helps the reader understand the characters. Also, this story can be related to a real life.
The protagonist in The Most Dangerous Game is Sanger Rainsford – the famous hunter that traveling with his friend Whitney on a yacht to hunt jaguars in the Amazon. In the beginning of the story Rainsford tells Whitney that hunting for him is “a big-game” and that he doesn’t care how animals feel. In addition, he said, “The world is made up of two classes – the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters” (Connell). Later on in this story, Connell showed how hasty Rainsford’s idea was.
After talking to Whitney he went up the deck to smoke “another pipe” and by the author’s contrivance, Rainsford fell overboard into “the blood-warm waters of the Caribbean Sea” (Connell). Here the author used special language to create the horrifying scenery that shows how dangerous the island and even the water, which looked bloody. At this moment we understood that Rainsford was in big trouble, but he keeps himself under control and “it was not the first time he had been in a tight place” (Connell).
While Rainsford swam toward the island he heard “a high screaming sound, the sound of an animal in an extremity of anguish and terror” and then a “pistol shot” (Connell). All this didn’t bother Rainsford, he decided that someone is hunting and he kept swimming toward to the island. How I remember, Rainsford associated hunting with good things. Even after he examined the beach where he saw clues that a big animal met its death from a small caliber cartridge he didn’t suspect that maybe something did not seem right.
According to Rena Korb, “Rainsford’s desire to find safety and civilization is so great that he does not fully comprehend the oddity of the island, including the evidence that a hunter has shot a “fairly large animal. . . with a light gun”(Korb). He doesn’t notice what is obvious to the reader: that the island is a place of true Gothic terror. ” It was unexpected for me to believe that a castle was in the middle of a jungle. The way Connell talks about this place it seems like the owner was a megalomaniac. It is built on the highest point on the island. A lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom” (Connell). The author was letting us know that this wasn’t a friendly neighborhood. The first person that Rainsford meet in the castle was Ivan. He was a big guy, and was deaf and dumb. The owner of this place, General Zaroff, explained that Ivan was his servant. Zaroff is the bad guy, so he is Rainsford’s antagonist. In the past he was a Russian aristocrat that left his country when the Communists took over the government. He was from a very rich family that belonged to the upper class that didn’t want be forced into the lower class.
Rainsford’s first impression about the general was that he “a most thoughtful and affable host” (Connell). Of course, Zaroff was nice to Rainsford to let him stay at his beautiful place, and use his expensive clothing. The author begins foreshadowing, and that is when Rainsford noticed “the general studying him, appraising him narrowly”. According to Rena Korb “Zaroff is an obvious predator, toying with Rainsford like a cat plays with a mouse before finishing it off”(Korb). The readers understand this earlier then Rainsford. Since Zaroff met Rainsford he was acting as a predator.
First, it’s obvious when he explains how he caught the people he hunted. Second, before hunting Rainsford, he let him sleep in a nice bed with silk pajama. Third, after the first day of hunting Zaroff found Rainsford on the tree, but didn’t kill him and just kept him to satisfy his hunting feelings. The author tells his story from third person, which made it more interesting. Connell lets the reader think about what would happen next, or what choices the characters will make in different situations. Also the author shows how different the characters ideas were of “dangerous game”.
For Zaroff it means hunting people, and his rules weren’t fair to start with. For Rainsford hunting a “Cape buffalo” was dangerous, but by the end of the story, it changed. There is the conflict Rainsford vs. himself when he was trying to survive, because he was a huntee. He felt fear and panic as the prey, as any animal would feel. However, he organized himself, started thinking differently, and found a way to win. He changed the rules in this unfair and dangerous game. Finally, Rainsford was successful, which made the ending happy.
The short-story “The Most Dangerous Game” refers to a literary fiction. According to Rena Korb, “Several of Connell’s early stories were well-received critically—“A Friend of Napoleon” and “The Most Dangerous Game” won the O. Henry Memorial Award for short fiction in 1923 and 1924, respectively”(Korb). This proves one more time that Connell is a good author of short-stories. He talks about important aspects of people’s lives. For example, dividing people into classes: hunter and huntee, rich and poor etc… This is selfish way to think and live your life, as you never know how life can change for you.
Also, there are many unfair games throughout our lives in general. For example: politics, wars, religions and even everyday life. However, I enjoyed reading “The most dangerous game” especially with the happy ending. I would recommend reading this short-story to my friends. Works Cited Thomas R. Arp, Greg Johson. Literature Structure, Sound, and Sence. Tenth Edition. Boston: Lyn Uhl, 2009, 2006. Rena Korb, for Short Stories for Students, Gale Research, 1997 http://ctrivino. wordpress. com/29-2/ David Kippen, for Short Stories for Students, Gale Research, 1997. http://ctrivino. wordpress. com/29-2/
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