Za'id's Corner

K: Reader Response Meets Writing about Literature?

"The Most Dangerous Game"

Richard Connell’s classic story, "The Most Dangerous Game," is about perilous competition. General Zarof has grown tired of hunting animals. He has a new game, the most dangerous game. He hunts human beings. General Zarof challenges victims who step foot on Ship-Trap island to a battle of wits and brawn that cannot be refused.

In the beginning, Rainsford is on a ship with his hunting mates. Rainsford falls off the ship. He hears gunshots and swims toward the sound. He ends up on the shore of Ship-Trap island. As he explores the island, he eventually finds a palace which is General Zarof’s home. Richard Connell sets up the suspense in this story perfectly because you have no idea what Rainsford is going to find on this island. This mood continues throughout the rising action. In one quote General Zarof says, “He need not play the game if he doesn’t wish to hunt. If he doesn’t wish to hunt I shall turn him over to Ivan.” The reader wonders what the game is and who Ivan is. Another quote that created suspense read, “There is no boast in hunting animals. It is a mathematical certainty. The animal had nothing but legs and instinct.” This quote is suspenseful because you wonder what he is hunting if he is not hunting animals.

The conflict in this story is that Rainsford is being forced to play the General’s game. He has no choice but to participate because it is the only way he can get away from this island. The climax of the story is when Rainsford is stuck in the tiger hole and it is uncertain if he will survive.

The mood is still very suspenseful and stays this way all the way up until the end of the story. A quote that showed this was, “Something was coming through the bush, coming slowly, carefully coming the same way Rainsford had. Another one Connell wrote was,” Rainsford held his breath. The general’s eyes were coming inch by inch up the tree.” Connell uses good phrases that create the mood throughout the entire story. Rainsford makes it through the third night. He swims to where the general is staying on the island and kills him.

The feeling you get when this happens is satisfaction. You feel satisfied because the protagonist beat the antagonist. The Most Dangerous Game was a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat while you are reading it. It also shows how intense competition could lead to violence. All in all this entire story is a great work of literature.