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Literary Analysis of the Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

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This research project dissects a piece by the short story guru Richard Connell. Known for his short story works and multiple O. Henry Memorial Awards, his short story, The Most Dangerous Game would go on to be his most memorable and one of his best. The research provided originates from many databases within the Bison Library including, critic pieces, biographies, and pictures, as well as other pieces of his work. This knowledge lead to a better understanding of his Tone, purpose of writing, and literary devices commonly used within his works.

At the age of ten Connell wrote for his father’s newspaper. This early environment of writing would set his future on a great path. This also shows his father’s influence on him, and his writing. When the United States joined the First World War so did Connell, serving in France for a year. In 1919 Connell married Louise Herrick Fox and moved to Paris and London for some time.

Writing style made “The Most Dangerous Game” a masterpiece. Connell uses literary devices such as foreshadowing, metaphors, and imagery to create a unique texture and tone to this piece. Connell at one point says “What Perils that tangle of trees and underbrush might hold for him did not concern Rainsford just then”. This is an example of foreshadowing, it allows readers to wonder about the story. Also foreshadowing builds the tone into a creepy like feeling. Connell then goes on to say “The lights of the yacht became ever faint and ever-vanishing fireflies…” Connell compares the lights to fireflies flying away. Allowing readers to visualize it in their minds. So it almost acts like imagery, but Connell really diggs deep into imagery when he explains the Generals dining room. Connell uses imagery in all of the story, but when he describes the dining room it builds such a great image it’s almost unforgettable. He says “There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a baronial hall of feudal time with its oaken panels, it’s high ceiling, it’s vast refectory tables where two score men could sit down to eat.” Connell’s imagery allows for a great picture, and a great way to set the setting. Also it makes the General so elegant and rich that he would never hunt humans.

Connell’s story has gotten praise around the world, with most critics loving it. Rena Korb says “I praise the complexity of the work regardless of the simplistic plot that only allows for two main characters.” Korb is completely right, Connell’s plot contains one problem with only two characters carrying it. Yet through advanced vocabulary and great use of foreshadowing it makes the plot complex. Terry W. Thompson praises his work for the story being more than just a “testosterone-pumping” action adventure story. Connell’s story in some ways can be looked at as an allegory, and contains questions such as what is the meaning of life. Connell’s strongest tool, vocabulary using words that deepen the plot of the story without changing it. He uses words like savage, underbrush, and flickering illumination. These words may be come in his era of writing, but the simplicity of the rest of the story allows readers even now to understand, and depict his writing.

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