The Most Dangerous Game

Pavan, John, Amelia, Nick, Trusten, Nayana, and Nathan

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Author bio

Richard Connell was born on October 17th 1893 in Duchess County. His parents were Richard Connell Senior and Mary Connell. Richard Connell Senior was the owner of Poughkeepsie News-Press, which allowed his son to publish works easily. Connell was writing as early on as the age of 10, and was able to publish a few works with the help of his father. By age 16, he was an editor for his father’s news-press. He attended Georgetown College, but left to become his father’s secretary. After his father died in 1912, he returned to college to complete his education at Harvard University. After leaving college Connell had many impressive jobs such as; editor of The Daily Crimson, editor of the Harvard Lampoon magazine and after that a reporter for The New York American. When World War I began, Connel decided to enlist. Even though he had enlisted he continued to write while he was stationed in France. The War soon ended and Connell returned home. After meeting his wife, Louise Fox, he decided to become a full time short story author. In 1922, Connell’s first book collection of short stories was released. His 1923 story, “A Friend of Napoleon” and his most famous story released in 1924, “The Most Dangerous Game” both won O’ Henry Memorial Prizes. These awards inspired him to write more short stories, so he and his wife moved to California. Over the next 10 years Connell published three books, “The Mad Lover”, “Murder at Sea” and “Playboy” as well as having “The Most Dangerous Game” adapted into a movie. He died November 22nd 1949 in Beverly Hills California due to a heart attack.


The mood of this story is ominous and suspenseful because of the setting and plot. In the beginning Rainsford thinks he swims to safety after falling off the yacht, but he arrives on an island with a strangely gothic mansion with a heavy front door and a threatening doorman. Once General Zaroff explains the rules of the "game," Rainsford must struggle for his life in a jungle-like forest complete with a "Deadly Swamp." Even though Rainsford is a famous, experienced hunter he is hardly a match for the general who knows the island well and tracks him with no problem. Even though Rainsford has some success the hounds and Zaroff's henchman Ivan are in pursuit as well and Rainsford must jump off a cliff to escape. After Zaroff's leisurely dinner Rainsford confronts Zaroff in his bedroom and challenges him. With the ending Rainsford "had never slept in a better bed," we learn that he did indeed defeat the vicious general.

Point of view

This story is in third person point of view, because it is not told from Rainsford's point of view, even though it is very biased towards him, and it is also looking down on him the story.

Setting, Conflict, Climax

The majority of the short story takes place on ship trap island. The conflict in this book is Mostlu Man vs. Man but the is some Man vs. Nature. This is because in the story Rainsford is in a conflict with Zaroff because Zaroff is trying to kill him. Then, there is also a conflict between Rainsford and the jungle because he has to survive in the jungle and general Zaroff.The climax of the short story would be when Rainsford finds out that he is the one being hunted by Zaroff. This is the climax because it is an intense part that keeps you on the edge to see what happens next.


Rainsford is an experienced hunter, strong willed, smart and resourceful

Rainsford is a dynamic character because he changes throughout the story. In the beginning he is simply curious and towards the end he is strong and smart.

General Zaroffis persistent, psychotic and passionate about hunting

The general is a static character because he is the same thought the story. He remains passionate about hunting and does not give up.

Literary Devices

Metaphor- "I have played the fox, now I must play the cat of the fable."

Smile- “The night is like moist black velvet.”

Imagery- “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."

Alliteration- "Desperately he struck out with strong strokes."

Hyperbole- “He was a monster.”

Personification- “The wash from speeding yacht slapped him.”

Onomatopoeia- “20 ft below him the sea rumbled and hissed.”

Foreshadowing- When Rainsford builds the burmese tiger trap, it suggests that one of Zaroff's dogs may fall in.

Symbol- The gun was a symbol of death.


Irony: Irony is the place between what is understood and what is meant. It is amusing to the person saying it and can be annoying to the person being told it. There are five main types of irony situational, cosmic, dramatic, socratic, and sarcasm. Situational irony is when you are thinking something and the opposite happens. Cosmic irony is when it seems to occur by fate or luck. This is normally associated with misfortune. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows something that the character doesn't. Socratic irony is the practice of feigning ignorance on a topic. Sarcam is used to praise someone's accomplishments but it acctully is hurtful because of how they said it. Sarcams though can be used to a comic effect. In The Most Dangerous Game there are three examples of irony. There is the two kinds of irony being used, socratic irony and situational irony. In the story Rainsford said that he didn't care about the animals feelings and that now he is being hunted he feels bad about hunting animals. This is Socratic irony because Rainsford is being ignorant about his hunting skills and now that Zaroff is hunting him he realizes how much he doesn't know. An example of situational irony is the fact that the hunter is being hunted and that is the opposite of what happens. The other example of situational irony is the island is called ship-trap island and it is used to trap ships for Zaroff.


Symbolism is the suggestion of ideas and emotions through images. Basically it is an association of an idea through an image that seems to not be related to it. There are two main symbols in the story The Most Dangerous Game. The jungle is one of the symbols in the story. It is the feeling of restriction and loss of control because it makes him unable to succeed at returning to civilization. Rainsford realizes that he must free himself from the jungle. The jungle is his mental block against animals feelings and instincts and he must be like an animal to win and he realizes how animals feel thus freeing his mind of the jungle. The island is another symbol and it is a symbol of uncharted ideas and Rainsford was dropped into the island and he must accept the ideas of animals to get off the island.


Theme - "instinct is no match for reason"

Theme is the subject of talk, a piece of writing and persons thoughts.It is the main focus of the story. In the story The Most Dangerous Game the instinct is no match for reason. This statement from the book is basically saying that:at times in certain situations like life or death or when you are taking risks you just have to go with what feels right to you and don't trust the facts. An example from the book is when the general is talking to rains ford "the animal had nothing but his legs and his instinct. Instinct is no match for reason. When I thought of this it was a tragic moment for me, I can tell you." Also the general compares it through an animals way." no animal had a chance with me anymore.That is no boast. It is a mathematical certainty .


Rising action- Once Rainsford falls in the water, he doesn’t have the safety of his whole "best big game hunter" attitude any more. The only thing he can really do is fry to find someone, so follows the pestle shots. He finally finds someone, General Zaroff. The General puts Rainsford in a game of brains, and bronze.

Climax- In the "game" the General hunts rainsfort down, and try's to kill him with any means necessary. The General lets out dogs to hunt down Rainsfort, and as he is running away, he jumps off of a cliff.

Falling action- Rainsfort swims of safety, and goes in the Generals horse, and wins the game!

Resolution- Rainsfort wins the game, and kills the General and his bodyguard Ivan.

Exposition- setting- ship trap island. (caribbean)

Solution/climate- he needs to get off the island, and win the game.

Characters- Ivan, Rainsfort, Zaroff.

Theme- people rely on instinct to solve problems, and get out of tough situations.

Conflict- man vs. man