The Most Dangerous Game

By:Richard Connell

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Author Summary:

Richard Connell was an American author and journalist best known for his works in the classic short story, "The Most Dangerous Game". Richard Connell was born on October 17, 1893 in Poughkeepsie, New York. Richard started his love of journalism at an early age, he began covering baseball games for his father's newspaper at age ten and was editing the newspaper by age sixteen. Richard later served in World War I, and then lived in various European countries. After settling in Beverly Hills, California, Connell began writing short stories. Some other short stories Richard wrote would include, The sin of Monsieur Pettipon and other humorous tales, and Apes and angels. Richard died on November 22, 1949 in Beverly Hills, California


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Theme and Point of View

In order to fully understand someone, you must step in their shoes
before you judge them. At the beginning of the book Rainsford decribed
the world as having two things; hunters and huntees. He said that he
is glad that he is a hunter. I think that this shows that he thinks
he's better than prey. He didn't understand what it was like to be
hunted until Zaroff challenged him to a game. He got to step in the
prey's shoes. The point of view for the story is 3rd person limited
because the story only follows Rainsford, and it is in 3rd person.


•Static character: is a character or characters that do not grow or change throughout the whole story. General Zaroff does not change during the whole story. His personality and attitude stay the same, therefore he is a static character

•Dynamic character: Is a character who goes through an important inner change over the coarse of the story. Rainsford changes his mind about the hunted at the beginning thinking that the hunted has no feelings. After being hunted he realizes that they do have feelings and experience fear.

•Round character: A round character is depicted with such depth and detail that he or she seems like a "real" person. In The Most Dangerous Game Rainsford is a round character because we hear what he is feeling, and get a greater understanding of who he is.

•Flat character: a flat character is a character who serves a minor literary function in a text. In The Most Dangerous Game Ivan is a flat character because he only plays a small part in the General’s game, and the plot itself.

Whitney is also a flat character because she only plays a small part in the story, in the beginning when she is giving her opinion to Rainsford.

Literary Devices

Simile: Similes are comparisons between two unrelated and dissimilar
things, people, beings, places and concepts. Similes are marked by
the use of the words ‘as’ or ‘such as’ or ‘like’.

Example: An apprehensive night crawled slowly by like a wounded snake.

Metaphor: In a metaphor, when one subject is compared to another
subject. The purpose of using a metaphor is to take something that we
understand clearly and use it to better understand the lesser known

Example: "I have played the fox, now I must play the cat of the fable."

Personification: Personification is the practice of attaching human
traits and characteristics with inanimate objects and animals.

Example: "...the dead tree, delicately adjusted to rest on the cut
living one..."

Symbol: Is using an object or action that means something more than
its literal meaning.

Example: Gun was a symbol of death.

Foreshadowing: Definition: The literary device foreshadowing refers to
the use of phrases and hints that set the stage for a story to unfold
and give hints of something that is going to happen without revealing
the story or spoiling the suspense.

Example: Once hearing about General Zaroffs disastrous game, we the
readers would expect the game to be played on Rainsford.

Imagery: Imagery is when the author uses words and phrases to create
“mental images” for the reader.

Example: "The dining room to which Ivan conducted him was in many ways
remarkable. There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a
baronial hall of feudal times with its oaken panels, its high ceiling,
its vast refectory tables where twoscore men could sit down to eat."

Irony: The use of irony in literature refers to playing around with
words such that the meaning implied by a sentence or word is actually
different from the literal meaning. The real meaning is revealed not
by the words themselves but the situation and the context in which
they are placed.

Example: The irony of this story was when Zaroff wants to hunt with
Rainsford, but Rainsford ends up being the one that is hunted.


Later in the narrative, as well, Rainsford waits nervously to see if the general falls into the tiger pit that he has made. As he does so, "He lived a year in a minute." After one of the dogs is killed in the trap, General Zaroff returns to his castle. The next day of the hunt, Rainsford is being chased and runs for his life. "Rainsford knew now how an animal at bay feels." So when Rainsford escapes and turns up at the castle, he tells the general, "I am still a beast at bay."

Rainsford says, "Who cares how a jaguar feels." He's using the jaguar as a term for prey. He says that, but later in the book he becomes the jaguar otherwise known as the prey. He becomes hunted by the General.

Another example is how Zaroff thinks he is all professional and sophisticated but in reality he is a horrible man, a murderer.