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A simile is a literary device in which an author describes a thing by comparing it to another thing. In a simile, the author does this by saying that the one thing is “like” the other things. We can find an example of a simile very early in the story. Whitney and Rainsford have been saying how dark it is and Whitney says that Rainsford has great vision but still can’t see in the Caribbean night. Rainsford agrees:
“Nor four yards," admitted Rainsford. "Ugh! It's like moist black velvet."
“It’s like moist black velvet” is a simile. It explains how dark and humid the night is by comparing it to moist black velvet.”
Alliteration is a literary device in which an author uses words that start with the same sound (or have the same sound prominent within them) in close proximity to one another. The words do not have to be consecutive, but must be close together. Some examples of this from “The Most Dangerous Game” include:
Desperately he struck out with strong strokes after the receding lights of the yacht… (repeated “s” sounds).
Jagged crags appeared to jut up into the opaqueness… (repeated “j” sounds)
There are many places where the author uses this kind of very short, two-word alliteration. For example,
Rainsford stood blinking in the river of glaring gold light that poured out. (2 “g” words).
As another example, Zaroff is described as having a “pointed military mustache” and eyes that were “black and very bright.”
Personification is a literary device in which an author attributes human qualities to a thing that is not human and may not even be alive. We can see an example of this when Rainsford finally reaches the island after falling off the boat. The narrator says
All he knew was that he was safe from his enemy, the sea…
This makes it seem as if the sea is a person who could actually be Rainsford’s enemy, instead of just being an inanimate part of nature.
Later on, the author uses personification, once again making the sea seem animate, saying that cliffs plunged down to “where the sea licked greedy lips in the shadows.” Clearly, the sea does not have a body and cannot lick its lips, but the author uses this figure of speech even so.
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