Irony In The Most Dangerous Game

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There may be nothing more terrifying than an attempt at your life by the very man that saved it in the first place. In the story “The Most Dangerous Game” the protagonist Rainsford falls off his yacht and is forced to swim. He lands on an island where his life is saved by a strange Russian named General Zaroff. The general seems like Rainsford’s savior until Rainsford discovers that he is planning on killing him in a so-called ‘game’ of hunting. In the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, Connell uses irony and foreshadowing to contribute to the mood of tension in the story. Foreshadowing in the short story helps contribute to its tense mood by alluding to future terrible events. In the beginning of the story, Rainsford …show more content…

After the general has revealed his hunting of people, he tells Rainsford how the island is ‘stocked’ either by chance or the general himself. He shows Rainsford his searchlights that are supposed to indicate a channel but instead lead ships right into the island. “‘Oh, yes,’ [General Zaroff] said, casually, as if in answer to a question, ‘I have electricity. We try to be civilized here’” (70). In saying this, the general reveals irony in his character because he has just said what his game really is. Most, including Rainsford, would consider the hunting of humans a very uncivilized activity, but the general not only thinks himself to be civilized, but also acts civilized in his everyday manner. When the general is explaining how he prepares his quarry for the hunt, he asks Rainsford if he wants to visit his ‘training school’. “‘We’ll visit my training school,’ smiled the general. ‘It’s in the cellar. I have about a dozen pupils down there now’” (71). Luckily for him, Rainsford realizes that the general is using verbal irony and the ‘school’ is actually a prison and refuses, requesting a bed instead. This builds the mood by showing that, although he acts kind, the general is a very unpleasant man. Clearly, irony is very important to the mood of “The Most Dangerous

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