September 9th, 2014
The Most Dangerous Game
“The Most Dangerous Game”(1924), by Richard Connell is a short story about a man who ends up on “Ship-trap Island”. On this island lives a man who seeks the ultimate game. He is referred to as General Zaroff, and Rainsford the protagonist, is “the most dangerous game”. The general sends Rainsford into the jungle, and gives himself three days to kill Rainsford. Rainsford is able to avoid the general, and kill him in the end of the story.
Throughout “The Most Dangerous Game” (1924), Connell uses many different literary devices to create a sense of fear and excitement in his writing. The setting of the story “Ship-trap Island” immediately sets the tone for the story, and foreshadows Rainsford’s future on his boat. Soon after Connell begins his story, he uses dialogue to foreshadow what will come in the story, “The world is made up of two classes – the hunters and the huntees. Luckily you and I are the hunters”(10). Connell is foreshadowing that soon the tables will turn onto Rainsford, and that his assumption of him being the hunter will soon change things.
The color red or word blood is a huge part of the story, and is used often to change the tone of the story. The first time the author uses the color red to set the tone of the story is in the beginning, “The cry was pinched off short as the blood-warm waters of the Caribbean Sea closed over his head” (11). Rainsford immediately falling into a sea of “blood-warm water” lets the reader know that bad things are about to happen to Rainsford. Later in the story the color red is more associated with General Zaroff and his craving to hunt human. “They were eating borsch, the rich, red soup”(15). Even the soup that Zaroff gives his guest resembles blood. Then Connell paints us an image of Zaroff’s smile, “he was smiling his curious red-lipped smile”, “his smile showed red lips and pointed teeth”. Zaroff’s red lips symbolize that he is hungry for blood, and symbolizes his status as a predator.
Zaroff’s and Rainsford’s past in the military is a huge aspect of the story. The psychological aspect of the paths they took in their military careers. Rainsford was on the front lines, digging trenches with minimal tools, and witnessing likely witnessing a lot of death in the trenches. Rainsford likely learned to appreciate human life, and to fight when his back was against the wall in the