The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game
by Richard Connell
(p. 67)
Published in 1924
Equation of Literary Elements
• Plot +
• Setting +
• Characterization +
• Title +
• Point of view +
• Symbol =
Types of Conflict in
“The Most Dangerous Game”
• Person vs. Person
– physical
– moral
• Person vs. Nature
– physical
• Person vs. Self
– emotional
Aspects of Plot involving
inexplicable Chance and
• The mystery of the hidden island is
Social control of captive sailors is not
adequately explained
The aberration between Zaroff’s cultivated
and primitive natures is not explained
Falling overboard in search of a pipe is hard
to believe
Such a meeting of two great hunters is
Ship-Trap Island
• The setting is ambiguous—an isolated island
– essential to the plot but not adequately
The date is uncertain, but the story spans 4 days
The setting is both hostile and friendly
It is both natural and man-made
• Which are round? Flat? Stock?
Static? Developing?
Protagonist = Rainsford
Zaroff and Ivan
Minor character = Whitney
Title and Point of View
• Title
– What is the play on words?
– How does the title contribute to the effect of
the story?
• Third person limited point of view is used
– Find evidence for this
– Why is it more effective than omniscient?
Figurative Language/Metaphor
• Darkness
– Look in the text for references to the natural darkness
outside and the inner darkness of human cruelty and
• “Blood-warm waters”
• Animal or human traits of the sea
– “muttering”
– “growling”
• Animal lust of the land
– “licked its greedy lips”
– “unbroken front of snarled and ragged jungle”
• Other metaphors and symbols?
• Hunting is cruel?
• Don’t hunt humans?
Why escapist?
• Plot is based mainly on suspense and
entertainment rather than on in-depth
character exploration
• Plot has too many improbabilities
• Setting is in an unbelievable social
• Characters lack depth, and Zaroff is not
a plausible character
• There is an overall lack of artistic unity
• Mainly - no substantial theme
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