In "The Most Dangerous Game" are the characterizations carried out in direct way or indirect ways?
"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell
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For the most part, Connell employs indirect characterization for the personages of his thrilling short story.
Here is a list of the elements of indirect characterization:
- Physical description:
General Zaroff and his servant Ivan are both described as Cossacks who are a group of Eastern Slavic people known for their brutality. They were military guards for the Russian borders. Interestingly, while Rainsford's physical description is not given, his impressions of Zaroff are. The general is an "erect, slender man" with a "cultivated voice marked by a slight accent." On the other hand, Ivan is
a gigantic creature, solidly made and black-bearded to the waist. In his hand the man held a long-barreled revolver, and he was pointing it straight at Rainsford's heart.
- Description of the character's actions
He [Rainsford] examined the ground closely and found what he had hoped to find--the print of hunting boots.....Eagerly he hurried along, now slipping on a rotten log or a loose stone, but making headway.
The general shrugged his shoulders and delicately ate a hothouse grape....He nodded toward the corner to where the giant stood, scowling, his thick arms crossed on his hogshead of chest [Ivan].
Out of the snarl of beard two small eyes regarded Rainsford. [Ivan]
- Description of the character's thought, feelings, and speeches
Rainsford's first impression was that the man [Zaroff]was singularly handsome; his second was that there was an original, almost bizarre quality about the general's face.
"No thrill left in tigers, no real danger. I love for danger, Mr. Rainsford." [Zaroff]
"Surely your experiences in the war--"
"Did not make me condone cold-blooded murder," finished Rainsford stiffly.
Connell does, also, employ direct characterization, which involves the author's telling his/her audience rather than dramatizing or showing as in indirect characterization.
Here is an example of direct characterization:
Rainsford did not want to believe what his reason told him was true, but the truth was as evident as the sun that had by now pushed through the morning mists....Then it was that Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror.
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