The Most Dangerous Game Theme Analysis

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“‘General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder’” (8) proclaimed Sanger Rainsford in Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game”. Connell’s central theme involves the difference between hunting and murder. He perceives a distinct difference between the two; hence his horror at Zaroff’s hunting of men. Connell implements foreshadowing and dialect to generate suspense in the reader throughout the story. Connell creates uncertainty in the story by foreshadowing the reader of future events. At dinner, Zaroff interests Rainsford with the fact that he “‘hunt[s] more dangerous game’” (5). Zaroff explains that “‘hunting had ceased to be what you call ‘a sporting proposition’ it had become too easy,’” (7) he needs game that is “‘able to reason”’ (7), but Rainsford knows that “‘no animal can reason”’ (7). Connell foreshadows the upcoming events by gradually explaining the credentials of the animal he desires to hunt. Once the reader recognizes Zaroff’s intentions…show more content…
Once Zaroff explains what will happen he insists, “‘tonight, we will hunt, you and I’” (10). Zaroff enjoys hunting Rainsford so much that Rainsford speculates that “the General was [just] playing with him” (12)! The reader grows in anxiety as Rainsford unwillingly takes up the offer to hunt; or to be hunted. At this point, the story makes the reader feel unpleasant about what Rainsford is going up against. After all, Zaroff is experienced in hunting humans. Similarly, when Zaroff and Rainsford meet after the hunt the suspense is still intense. Even though Rainsford has “‘won the game,”’ (15) he “‘is still a beast at bay’” (15). The reader perceives that Rainsford is going to get revenge on Zaroff for putting him through such a hard time. Rainsford has outsmarted, like a cunning fox, Zaroff, and as a result Rainsford is safe. From the beginning of the story, the readers’ experience subtle change in characters as suspense grows through
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