Direct but Eerie
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 made Rainsford uncomfortable. Whenever he looked up from his plate he found the general studying him, appraising him narrowly (1.68).
Just when Rainsford has started to enjoy the foie gras, he starts feeling a little awkward. Why is General Zaroff looking at me like that? Well, he’ll soon find out he’s being sized up.
Connell loads a lot into these two characters, leading the reader to assume we have some clear-cut oppositions going on. Check out these declarations:
- “The world is made up of two classes—the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters” (1.14).
- "Thank you, I'm a hunter, not a murderer" (1.118).
- And “The weak of the world were put here to give the strong pleasure. I am strong” (1.121).
We get the distinct impression that we are dealing with good versus evil. Yes, the dialogue is wooden, but it gets the point across. If Connell had delved into the psyche of these characters and really examined Rainsford’s thought process as he went from hunter to hunted, we would have a whole different story here. It would be longer, less adventurous and more psychological.