Reading guide for MDG

(Reading / Literature Section)
“Most Dangerous Game” – Short Story Guide
Objective: Read Richard Connell’s story as a class – apply reading skills and literary terms relevant to short stories.
LITERARY TERMS – Questions require knowledge of the following terms:
plot diagram
point of view
READING SKILLS – Questions require the following skills:
context clues
Close Reading Questions
1. The story opens with dialogue between Rainsford and Whitney. Who are these men? Compare their similarities and
2. In the first few pages, what does Rainsford and Whitney’s conversation foreshadow? What kind of predictions might
readers make?
3. Choose one adjective to describe the mood the author creates at the beginning of the story. Record a quote that you
believe contributes to this mood.
Plot Point 1: Summarize the exposition of the story. What do readers learn?
4. Who is the story’s narrator? From what point of view is the story told?
5. Who is the protagonist in the story? (Later, note the antagonist.)
Plot Point 2: Summarize the inciting incident.
6. When does Rainsford wake up? What details does Rainsford notice about his surroundings after waking up on the
7. What does Rainsford discover after following footprints over the island?
8. Who is the first man Rainsford meets and what can readers infer about him from the description?
9. How does the author describe General Zaroff? What can readers infer about his personality and lifestyle?
10. What details about Zaroff’s life support the inference that he feels neither guilt nor fear concerning hunting?
11. How does the author build a suspenseful mood during Zaroff and Rainsford’s dinner conversation?
12. Compare the way Zaroff and Rainsford view hunting (note one similarity and one difference).
13. What quality does General Zaroff want in the game that he hunts? What big game does he hunt?
14. What “options” does Zaroff give those he hunts?
15. What deal does the General make with Rainsford after he asks to leave the island?
16. As the hunt begins, make a prediction about what will happen.
Plot Point 3: Summarize the rising action. Be sure to highlight Rainsford’s strategies during the hunt.
17.What can you infer about Zaroff from the quote, “But the sharp eye of the hunter stopped before they reached the
limb where Rainsford lay; a smile spread over his brown face. Very deliberately he blew a smoke ring into the air . . .”?
18. What can you infer about Rainsford’s fear from the following quote, “Rainsford had dug himself in in France when a
second’s delay meant death. That had been a placid pastime compared to his digging now”?
Plot Point 4: Summarize the climax of the story.
19. What happens to Ivan?
20. When Rainsford leaps into the sea, what inference do you think the author wants you to make?
Plot Point 5: Summarize the falling action in the story.
21. Based on context clues, what does the word “repast” mean in the following quote, “Splendid! One of us is to furnish
a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed.”
Plot Point 6: Summarize the resolution to the story. What can you infer happens?
Analysis Questions
22. What themes does the author develop through the story?
23. What examples of irony can you find in the story?
24. Identify the conflicts in the story (2 external conflicts and 1 internal conflict):
__________________ vs. ___________________ Explain: _________________________________________________
__________________ vs. ___________________ Explain:___________________________________________________
__________________ vs. ___________________ Explain: __________________________________________________
25. Identify which example of figurative language is best illustrated by each quote. Consider how each of these quote
contributes to the mood of the story.
___ Simile
“the sea licked greedy lips in the shadows” (219)
___ Metaphor
“the cry was pinched off short by the blood-warm waters of the Carribean” (218)
___ Imagery
“An apprehensive night crawled slowly by like a wounded snake” (227)
“The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse” (231)