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The Most Dangerous Game
The Most Dangerous Game
by Richard Connell

The Most Dangerous Game Analysis

Literary Devices in The Most Dangerous Game

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

When an author mentions the setting in the first sentence, take that as a hint that setting will be important. Here, we have “Ship-Trap Island,” which is apparently a place of great mystery, ev...

Narrator Point of View

Because we are looking at a Third Person (Limited Omniscient) narrative, we really only know Rainsford’s thoughts. And only when Rainsford “escapes” near the end do we get a glimpse of Zaroff...

Genre

This one’s pretty cut and dry. “The Most Dangerous Game” falls clearly into the adventure story genre, which is probably why it has been adapted into or inspired so many films in the oh-so-ma...

Tone

Let’s give Connell credit. Long before Jaws, he was able to make water really spooky. He sets the tone of the story while they are still on the boat. It’s a dark and eerie mood out on that stil...

Writing Style

Connell packs a lot of mood into one sentence, so looky here: He was finding the general a most thoughtful and affable host, a true cosmopolite. But there was one small trait of the general's that...

What's Up With the Title?

Also published as "The Hounds of Zaroff," “The Most Dangerous Game” offers a clever play on words, with game carrying two different meanings: (1) human beings as Zaroff's hunted and (2) the com...

What's Up With the Ending?

Sometimes an ending is not just an ending, or at least not a clear ending. What do we know for certain? That according to the rules of engagement, Rainsford wins the hunt because he survives three...

Tough-o-Meter

On the one hand, we are talking about a straightforward, no tricks, nothing-fancy adventure story here. Richard Connell was clearly not interested in winning any awards for experimental prose. In f...

Plot Analysis

Operation Macho ManHere’s where we get the crucial set up: Rainsford is a big-game hunter who thinks he’s all that. The animals? Pfft. It's not like they have any feelings about being hunted. S...

Trivia

Did you know that the film version of “The Most Dangerous Game” was one of the first “talkies” (movies with sound)? (Source.)Even Gilligan’s Island did its own take on the short story. No...

Steaminess Rating

We’ve got our violence and ruthlessness, whipping and human cruelty—even men in the basement, but we’re still left with a pretty un-steamy story. Probably the raciest moment comes in Rainsfor...

Allusions

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 160-180 CE (2.31).Folies-Bergere, Paris music hall famous for presenting operettas, pantomimes, musical comedies, acrobatic acts, and vaudeville (1.141).Madame B...

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