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Essay about Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game

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“Hunting is not a sport, in a sport both sides should know they’re in the game”(Paul Rodriguez)."The Most Dangerous Game," an adventure tale that pits two notorious hunters against one another in a life and death competition, is the story for which Richard Connell is best remembered. First published in 1924, the story has been frequently drawn together as a classic example of a suspenseful narrative loaded with action. Connell's story raises questions about the nature of violence, cruelty and the ethics of hunting for sport. "The Most Dangerous Game" gained favorable recognition upon its initial publication in 1924, winning the Prestigious O. Henry Memorial Award for short fiction. Its popularity was further established when the first film version of the story was produced in 1932. The story's theme, the hunter becoming the hunted, has become a popular one in other books and films since Connell's version appeared.
The characters in this story, while interesting, are certainly not realistic. Yet, the author creates a likeable character in Sanger Rainsford and a despicable one in General Zaroff. Rainsford is the protagonist of this story. He is portrayed as a round character as he displays multiple traits. Interestingly, one of the ways he shows multiple traits is in his attitude toward whatever he is hunting. In the beginning of the story, Rainsford explains to a sailor, "Who cares how a jaguar feels?" (Connell) At this point he has no sympathy for the animal. It is simply an object to be hunted. However, that attitude changes when he, himself, becomes General Zaroff's prey. Once that happens, Rainsford all of a sudden cannot believe Zaroff's attitude toward what is being hunted, in this case, a man. Rainsford exclaims, "H...


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...le to understand what Zaroff was thinking about Rainsford and studying Rainsfords ever expression and move. Another time in the story when third person was noticed, was when Rainsford was being chased by Zaroff, and Rainsford was resting in a tall tree. Since this story was told in third person you knew what was going through his head when he heard and seen General Zaroff walking through the bushes, you also know what the General was thinking when he looked at Rainsford in the tree, but you also knew that Rainsford could not understand why the General walked away after he seen him in the tree. This story is better when you know both sides of the story, and it is way easier to understand.




Works Cited

Connell, Richard. “The Most Dangerous Game.” The Language of Literature. Arthur N. Applebee et al. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2000. 39-57. Print.


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